I agree—complete accident, as I thought the paragraph spaces would translate through pasting from Word. Don’t know how to edit post unfortunately.
Despite important and far-reaching policy wins by the Trump Administration, America has much to be ashamed of recently. Today is notable for the release of the so-called Nunes Memo, showing, in its own words findings which . . . 1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to FBI surveillance of American citizens.
While there is much nuance which can be discussed, the Nunes Memo essentially discloses that the Clinton campaign funded false and defamatory opposition research that it later shared with the FBI. The research was compiled by a wildly anti-Trump British agent named Christopher Steele. All parties knew the researchknown as the Steele dossierwas unsubstantiated and ridiculous. Mr. Steeles FBI file recorded that he had huge biases against Mr. Trump, and those biases discredited his research. Yet the FBI presented the dossier as credible evidence to a FISC, and used it to obtain permission to begin surveillance on a member of President Trumps transition team. The FBI never disclosed to the FISC who paid for the research, the fact Mr. Steele was biased, or that the dossier had been widely discredited as false. And, the FBI used the dossier a further 3 times to support extending surveillance permission. FBI Director James Comey, or his deputy director Andrew McCabe, personally signed off on all requests. Mr. McCabe testified before Congress that the FISC would never have granted surveillance permission without the FBIs reliance on the dossier. Mr. Comey later described the dossier in a Senate hearing as salacious and unverified.
During this time, the FBI was taking additional steps to put other members of Mr. Trumps campaign and transition team under surveillance, and tilt the FBI investigation of Mrs. Clintons e-mail abuses in her favor. The Nunes Memo describes how FBI agent Peter Strzokwho had a tremendous anti-Trump biasbegan a surveillance operation against Trump advisor George Papadopoulos during the summer before the 2016 election. Mr. Strzok was also the FBI agent in charge of investigating Mrs. Clintons e-mail abuses. From text messages between he and his FBI-employed mistress, it becomes clear that he and other FBI leadership were heavily biased in favor of Mrs. Clintonstating she would not be indicted, desiring to take it easy in questioning her, and even detailing how Mr. Comeys memo about Mrs. Clintons conduct was softened by Mr. Strzok immediately prior to the election to make it less damaging. Those same text messages indicate that he and other senior members of the FBIincluding Mr. McCabeseemed to be colluding against President-elect Trump following the election. Mr. Strzoks bias also extended to the Robert Mueller Russian Collusion investigation for a time, tainting the credibility and independence of that effort.
The FBIs abuse of the laws surrounding surveillance of American citizens is shocking, and possibly illegal. And, it seems it was used for purely political purposes. Mr. Strzoks text messages indicate that some within FBI leadership viewed the Steele dossier, and the FBI surveillance it facilitated, as a kind of insurance policy against Mr. Trumps election, and later, against a successful Trump Presidency. Through leaks to the media, and exerting improper control of the FBIs investigative and surveillance apparatus, the Nunes Memo describes how senior FBI leadership attempted to orchestrate a sort of palace-coup where theyand not the American peoplewould decide the outcome of the presidential election and the success of President Trumps presidency.
Shockingly, Mr. Comey responded to the release of the Nunes Memo today via Twitter, asking Thats it? As if allegations that he, as Director of the FBI, purposely misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to unlawfully interfere in an election and a presidency isnt enough? Who knows if there is anything worse hiding in the darkness that is the upper-echelons of the FBI. If we are to have a Special Counsel investigate matters surrounding the election, maybe he should start with the FBI. Determining the truthand how the law was so easily twisted to tilt the scales for one candidate and against anotheris key to stopping this likely-criminal behavior in future elections.
Thank you for posting the entire article. (I clicked it anyway.)