Donald Trump

Get Yourself Ready for 'The Memo'—Will It Rock Your World or Put You to Sleep?

Trump has reviewed a document alleging FBI misconduct. It might be released Friday.

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This afternoon President Donald Trump read "The Memo." It is likely that soon you'll be reading it too. Maybe Friday. Maybe not. But possibly:

"The Memo," depending on whom you ask, provides evidence either that the FBI was out to undermine President Donald Trump or that top Republicans will do anything to undermine the FBI's investigation into allegations of collusion between the Russian government and Trump's campaign.

The Memo has been consuming entire news cycles this week, even though we don't fully know what's in the four-page document, which was produced by the staff of House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). We know it argues that the FBI inappropriately used the infamous Steele dossier and concealed its origins as a Democratic opposition tool to get a court's permission to secretly snoop on former Trump aide Carter Page.

Whether that's an accurate assessment of what actually happened we don't really know. As Reason's Jacob Sullum has pointed out, based on what we know about Page's interactions with Russian officials, the FBI likely would have been able to produce enough probable cause to get a wiretap approved even without the Steele dossier. Orin Kerr notes that claims of bias in the warrant process may not even matter if the facts themselves provide enough probable cause.

I've said much of what I've had to say about the prerelease fight over the memo earlier this week, but for anybody just tuning in: I think it's obviously a partisan-focused fight from two parties trying to discredit the other. But Americans do have a right to know how the surveillance state operates when it's investigating people closely connected to our president. I also still feel terribly frustrated that this debate has virtually no chance of becoming a substantive discussion of how much secret, warrantless domestic surveillance the FBI is already doing in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Instead, the current discussion is entirely about who may be losing or leaving their jobs. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants Nunes stripped of his chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee. That seems unlikely unless the memo ends up outright humiliating the Republican Party.

In addition, now that FBI Director Chris Wray went out on a limb with a public statement that the FBI has "grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy," there are concerns that he might quit if the memo gets released. Recall, Trump selected him to replace James Comey after Trump fired Comey.

The never-ending stream of shifting speculation makes the whole story hard to keep tabs on. What will matter is the actual contents of the memo when it's released. If it does come out tomorrow, I (and no doubt dozens of other journalists) will be all over it.

In the meantime, Cato surveillance expert Julian Sanchez also feels the pain of the debate we're not having:

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  1. I’m kind of hoping it will rock me to sleep while putting the world. But I’ve heard this promise before with the JFK and Area 51 reports.

  2. Cato might think about hiring a “surveillance expert” who isn’t ecstatically choking on FBI cock.

    1. Would you prefer they be dour?

      1. He said heartbreaking, so dour is covered.

  3. Wanna know my secret? I’m always sleepy.

  4. “Omissions” so there’s even more shit? A actual coup attempt?

    1. I heard Mueller called Trump a Lamer.

    2. Omissions probably along the lines of someone quoting “kill the people threatening the children” as “kill […] The children”.

      Omitting key details can leave out the important context that makes actions that were ethical seen unethical.

      Or they might just be trying to cover their asses.

      /Shrug

  5. FBI needs to loosen that tinfoil.

    Hitlary for UberDr?mpfenFuhrer 2020 approves this message.

  6. Chris Cuomo at CNN has already stated that without the underlying documents – which won’t be released – there’s no proof that any of the charges are true and therefore this story is a non-starter. He then went on to speak for 187 straight hours about all the lies and crimes of Donald J. Trump, all verified gospel truth to him by a reporter at the New York Times quoting a story in the Washington Post based on conversations with an anonymous source close to Trump Administration officials within the White House.

    1. 187 straight hours

      Oh, it’s Jerryskids.

      1. Those telethons don’t talk themselves.

      2. You have a hard time with hyperbole and sarcasm, huh?

    2. The bit about the supporting docs is true. Without them it’s so much hearsay.

  7. Trump is a walking zombie. Remember “deep throat?” He keeps INSISTING on pissing off the wrong people. Even worse, his mental instability could cause an even greater boost to progressives than he already has. A majopr threat to the GOP, fer sher.

    1. Fer sher?
      Wow, I’m taking that post seriously.

    2. He wouldn’t be in the position of pissing off the wrong people if he hadn’t pissed on some Russian hookers.

      Whatever. There’s a joke in there somewhere. You get the idea.

    3. “Remember “deep throat?””

      I’m of the opinion that ‘Behind the Green Door’, was the superior film. Marylin Chambers was pretty hot back in the day. Much mores than Linda Lovelace.

    4. Remember “deep throat?”

      Yes we remember your avocation during the Obama administration.

    5. And yet the democrats are the walking dead today. Oh there is no joy in Mudville for the Dems today.

  8. Whatever you hope it says, prepare to be disappointed.

  9. This isn’t about surveillance exactly.

    It’s about oversight of the FBI and holding them accountable.

    It’s about the FBI being enthusiastic accomplices in what they’re accusing Putin of doing during the last election, and it’s about doing what the FBI fears most–showing sunlight into their dark castle.

    1. All the cool civil libertarians, like Balko and Sanchez, are saying the FBI is pure as the driven snow, above reproach, super-patriotic Eagle Scouts and anyone who questions those facts is a Nazi.

      1. They seem to be missing the point.

        They’re living in 2003.

        Hardly anyone gives a shit about surveillance anymore.

        See my comment below.

        Watch what people do with their privacy online. That’s how much people care about surveillance.

      2. Did you actually read the linked Sanchez article? The quote from his tweet, “it’s so transparently frivolous that I’m forced to take the FBI’s side” is pretty stupid.

        But, the article basically talks about how it’s unfortunate that stupidity and overwhelmingly partisan nature of this particular issue/memo will obscure the real concerns about how the FISC/FBI do things. He then goes on to explain his concerns in more detail. The closest that he comes to defending the FBI is pointing out that they have an extensive process for getting internal approvals on FISA applications. But, he immediately questions whether they were less than candid with FISA or failed to do due diligence on the info they got.

        Not exactly the same as saying they are pure as the driven snow.

        1. Hyperbole isn’t meant to be taken literally, and I think you’re missing the point.

          In the bluntest possible terms, if the FBI tried to throw the election for one candidate over another, the problem is not that they violated the fourth amendment. If the FBI tried to throw the election for one candidate over another, then the problem is that the FBI tried to throw the election for one candidate over another.

          Making our surveillance laws compliant with the fourth amendment is a great idea, but it’s hardly the central issue here. Sanchez writes a lot about surveillance; that’s been his beat for a long time. I don’t think he’s necessarily trying to distract from the central issue. It’s just . . . that’s his thing, so of course he tends to see it from that perspective.

          Incidentally, I’m also in favor of making all of our laws compliant with the first amendment, second amendment, etc., too, but I’m not sure what that has to do with the FBI being outrageous and unaccountable. If Sanchez got his wishes and our laws were all rewritten to be in harmony with the fourth amendment, the FBI would still be out of control and unaccountable.

          The individual in the FBI who broke the law need to be exposed, indicted, and prosecuted, whether it’s for obstructing justice, perjury, or whatever else they did tat was illegal, and that needs to happen regardless of whether our laws are rewritten to comply with the fourth amendment.

          1. FBI directors have been Republicans for decades. The authoritarian nature of those drawn to law enforcement gives FBI agents a Republican slant.

            Yet plenty of goobers appear to believe that the FBI was trying to swing our election toward a Democrat, and that a string of Republicans — Rosenstein, McCabe, Mueller, Wray, Comey — have conducted and tried to cover up that effort.

            I blame backwater religious schooling and the bright flight that has stripped our Republican-leaning southern and rural communities of all of the smart and ambitious young people for generations..

            1. Hello Mikey Hihn. Change your shitty Depends.

            2. The FBI may care more about its mission and protecting its turf than it does about GOP positions like abortion.

              The big turn off for the intelligence services was Trump’s willingness to collaborate with Putin on fighting ISIS in Syria. Trump campaigned on making nice with Putin in Syria.

              As I wrote elsewhere, the FBI has been transformed into a global anti-terrorism force, and the intelligence services had come to see Syria as their baby. Trump conceding Syria to Putin, Hezbollah, the Iranian Revolutionary Army and Assad meant that they would have less stuff to do–and probably less funding than they would have had otherwise.

              Hillary Clinton had no intention of working with Putin to fight ISIS in Syria or conceding Syria to Assad and his allies in Iran. Hillary was gearing up for war in Syria, where Trump was gearing up for collaboration with Putin. That’s why the intelligence services supported Hillary rather than Trump.

              That’s why Republicans like John McCain supported Hillary over Trump, too.

            3. Also Mikey, the fake piss dossier was funded at least in part by Republicans to begin with. Every attempt was made by the party apparatus to torpedo Trump’s campaign. The fact that some of the slimeballs in the FBI that were involved in election tampering were Republicans should hardly be surprising to anybody who isn’t a senile old fuck shitting in his pants.

            4. It’s going to be the height of irony if a Republican president ends up discrediting two organizations that shitlib boomers have been bitching about since they first caught the clap at a love-in.

          2. The hyperbole was not taken literally. My point was that not just is the hyperbolic version wrong, but a plain version is also wrong. Not just is Sanchez not saying they’re pure as the driven snow, but he’s not even defending them.

            “if the FBI tried to throw…”. The “if” statement is noted.

            I’m not sure if I’d point to the FBI or individuals (a bunch of them) within the FBI.

            Surveillance laws compliant with the 4A: probably not central to this particular issue. And yeah, since Sanchez cares about surveillance, then it’s reasonable for him to be concerned and write about how this particular circus distracts from the true nature of surveillance problems.

            1. Not just is Sanchez not saying they’re pure as the driven snow, but he’s not even defending them.

              It is not unreasonable for people who don’t know someone’s true intentions to mistake distracting from the central issue for defending the FBI.

              Those who want to defend the FBI are doing the same, exact thing–they’re making this about something other than the question of whether the FBI tried to throw the election for one candidate rather than another.

              To be clear, if the FBI cited intelligence in a warrant application that they knew to be questionable and to have originated with Democrat funded opposition research, then can they plausibly deny having tried to throw the election?

              The question is whether they used Democrat opposition research in a warrant application and whether they knew that information’s source.

              Don’t get distracted. The fourth amendment issues are beside the point.

          3. But this particular issue is shining some light on the surveillance issue… and making it look like it’s just more petty partisan squabbling. So, Sanchez is right to complain from his perspective.

            But, yeah… FBI (and other law enforcement/intelligence) being unaccountable… separate but also awful problem. Certainly not a new one. I think there have been several other articles that covered this topic pretty well. Tucille in particular. That’s why i found Sanchez’s surveillance perspective interesting.

            I’d change your last paragraph to “If an individual in the FBI broke the law…”. Maybe I’m a pessimist, but I’m inclined to assume that they didn’t break any laws. Writing laws to make the process comply with 4A (and others) is doable. Writing laws against some particular conduct is doable. But, how do you write/enforce laws that prevent FBI people from using otherwise legal tools to influence election. That’s tougher.

            1. “Top FBI officials were aware for at least a month before alerting Congress that emails potentially related to an investigation of Hillary Clinton had emerged during a key stretch of the 2016 presidential campaign, according to text messages reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

              FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had learned about the thousands of emails by Sept. 28, 2016, and Director James Comey informed Congress about them on Oct. 28, 11 days before the presidential election, the messages show.

              —-WSJ, yesterday

              https://www.wsj.com/articles/ fbi-officials-delayed-telling-congress-of-clinton- emails-discovered-before-2016-election-1517450265

              While the whole world was arguing about Hillary’s missing emails, the FBI already had them in their possession for 30 days before they informed the congressional committee investigating the issues around her server.

              That may be obstruction of justice.

              If anyone testified that the emails weren’t in the FBI’s possession, then that’s probably perjury.

              That’s just one example. If they were doing the Clinton campaign’s dirty work for them by getting a warrant by way of Clinton opposition research, that’s even worse.

              1. Yeah, agreed. Tucille’s article talked about the FBI’s long, shameful history of using law enforcement powers to political ends. The examples you mention fit within the “if an individual in the FBI broke the law”. But also, it’s sufficiently questionable that, even with Trump as President, I doubt we’ll ever see any prosecutions go anywhere.

                “If they were doing the Clinton campaign’s dirty work for them by getting a warrant by way of Clinton opposition research, that’s even worse.” Possibly worse. But, probably not covered by laws. So that’s the third part I talked about and how making laws to cover it would be tougher.

              2. Also worth noting that it still ties to the surveillance debate. Because the reality is that the standard for actually getting the warrant is sufficiently low that they still would have been able to get one without the dossier. Sanchez hit on this talking about the FISC rubber-stamp judges.

                I think the reality is that the only reason that Republicans are pursuing this is they believe they can protect the President (not because they like him, but simply because he has an R by his name) without doing any actual damage to the overall FBI/FISC system that they whole-heartedly support. They’re focusing this entire issue on the contents of a salacious dossier funded by DNC so they can limit any risk of actually harming that FBI/FISC system that they love. And they know that, looking at the longer overall history, FBI’s political actions have been more to their benefit than their detriment.

          4. “if the FBI tried to throw the election for one candidate over another, the problem is not that they violated the fourth amendment. If the FBI tried to throw the election for one candidate over another, then the problem is that the FBI tried to throw the election for one candidate over another.”

            There will always be corrupt officials. The Constitution was written to protect against them by limiting the power of _all_ officials. When those limits are not enforced, we have a bigger problem than one corrupt cabal.

      3. That disappoints me about Balko, but then I haven’t read his remarks.

        Bovard is not taking their side though.

        1. Bovard’s not a cuck.

    2. The FBI is full of neither Eagle Scouts nor Felons. It’s full of a lot of prosecutors and law-enforcement types. Really a lot of Republicans or used-to-be Republicans. Prosecutors don’t tend to be the most liberal types. The whole “deep state” business is a bunch of hooey when it comes to the FBI (maybe not the state department). Mueller is a Republican and Trump’s Republican lawyer resigned when Trump said he was going to fire Mueller.

      1. This. I really don’t understand why they don’t just leave Mueller alone. If there is nothing there, he will find nothing. If it’s minor or complicated to explain, the public won’t care. Heck, I’m a partisan Dem and I think the Russia collusion is likely to be nothing.

        1. They were leaving Mueller alone, until his team started selectively leakng information every week. Muellers team made this partisan, and has continued to do so.

          1. Mueller and his team are also performing near unlimited opposition research for the next election cycle o the taxpayer’s dime. Given that they already leak with impunity, it isn’t a stretch that they are feeding copious amounts of information on Trump’s activities, business dealings, etc. to the DNC and their lackeys. This needs to stop.

            The investigation needs to stop, and Mueller needs to go. Probably to prison.

        2. Mueller and Comey threatened to resign, together, over a disagreement with the Bush Jr. administration–and now Mueller is effectively investigating his own protege?

          Mueller is the one who transformed the FBI from a domestic law enforcement agency into an international spy agency in the wake of 9/11. Now that the agency he transformed is blundering because of his transformation, you expect him to call it fair?

          Mueller investigating the FBI is the FBI investigating itself–and you expect him to find fault with the FBI?

          I’m not sure he could see their wrongdoing–even if he wanted to. The FBI is the way it is because Mueller made it that way.

        3. I really don’t understand why they don’t just leave Mueller alone. If there is nothing there, he will find nothing.

          Excellent repackaging of the old authoritarian saw that “the innocent have nothing to fear”.

          Mueller’s probe was a fishing expedition from the getgo, and did not have a specific crime that it was investigating (as required by the independent prosecutor statute). He is harassing everyone who worked with Trump and scaring away anybody who was considering working with Trump. The only crimes discovered have been caused by the investigation itself. It is an unconstitutional and illegal travesty of the justice system.

      2. Prosecutors don’t tend to be the most liberal types.

        They tend to be authoritarians, who can parrot whatever side of the political spectrum suits their advancement. You seriously think McCabe, Comey, Strzok, and Page chafed under Obama during his administration?

      3. The whole “deep state” business is a bunch of hooey when it comes to the FBI

        Go read a biography of Hoover you ignorant fucking moron. The FBI is the alpha and omega of the “deep state” from its very fucking inception.

  10. lol

    Inside the Trump administration, sources who’ve been briefed on the Nunes memo expect it will be underwhelming and not the “slam dunk” document it’s been hyped up to be.

    What we’re hearing: There is much more skepticism inside the administration than has been previously reported about the value of releasing the memo, according to sources familiar with the administration discussions.

    Be smart: Trump still wants to release the memo. But there are a number of people in the White House who are fairly underwhelmed, and there’s internal anxiety about whether it’s worth angering the FBI director and intelligence community by releasing this information.

    What’s next: Trump will almost certainly approve the memo’s release. The internal debate, now, is more around whether to make further changes to the memo ? redactions to protect sources and methods ? on the advice of the Intelligence Community.

    1. I think there’s a good argument on the idea that Trump succeeds by making people so mad they can’t think straight, leaving a hole for his cooler heads to drive through.

      Friend had a theory about the 1990s Microsoft anti-trust trial. Bill Gates was intentionally lying on the stand, especially about that “one-take” video which could readily be seen as having quite a few cuts, simply to piss off the judge and trick him into doing or saying something stupid which would get the case thrown out on appeal. So it came to be.

      1. I don’t think Trump is that smart. I do, however, believe his loudest adversaries are that stupid.

        1. I don’t think Trump is that smart.

          Well, he wrote about this being one of his negotiating strategy. Why do you think he wouldn’t use a strategy that he explicitly advocates?

    2. OK, let’s release it and find out.

      If it is a big nothingburger, the GOPers who promoted it will look like fools. Dems should be eager for it to be released if that’s the case.

      Note that the Dems are supremely not eager for it to be released.

      1. This. It’s probably not HUGE, but it’s probably not going to look good either.

      2. It’s out now, and it’s going to hurt them. A lot.

        Their tears will be delicious.

    3. Why not just link directly to the DNC next time?

      1. For anybody who wasn’t aware, Axios is an offshoot of Politico funded by NBC Universal, The Atlantic, and the Koch brothers with an unabashed left-wing bias. It’s not very surprising that it would be parroting the same partisan talking points as the Koch brothers’ other media outlets such as this one.

  11. The American people share the intimate details of their lives and lives of their children with the general public via Facebook.

    The American people install devices from Amazon in their homes to listen to everything they say in the hope that someone will say “Alexa”–and pay for the privilege!

    The American people let Google scan their email, Microsoft scan their hard drives, and Apple track everything that comes through their phones–just so they can sell the information to advertisers.

    I hope the American people someday graduate to not giving a shit about surveillance again. As it stands, the American people are currently falling all over themselves to make everything about themselves as digitized and widely available as possible to as many people as possible.

    Privacy will soon be an anachronism.

    1. Eh. Millennials may be willing to sell our privacy for neat toys, but our parents (and their parents) just have it away. The EFF didn’t get founded because of Facebook and geo-tagged Instagram photos.

      We may be the ones that sent cameras up and down every street for Google Street View, but you’re there ones that took commercial mailing lists for birthday ice cream and used them to send out draft notices.

      So sure, Millennials have sold their privacy for toys. But only cause it was already sold for “security”.

  12. You don’t have to like government, the FBI, or Democrats to also not like a naked partisan attempt to fuck up a major criminal investigation. Just because you hate libturds and everything they stand for doesn’t mean you have to endorse turning America into a banana republic.

    1. Informing the public = fucking up a major criminal investigation, somehow, in Tony logic.

      1. Misleading the public is the point of this, you do realize?

        1. By ‘misleading’ you mean ‘anything that isn’t favorable to Team Blue no matter how true it really is’, right?

          1. No I mean misleading you partisan fuckwad.

            1. We’re you looking the mirror when you said that?

    2. What crime is that “major criminal investigation” investigating?

      1. Funny how that investigation dint for a crime, but to see if there even was a crime. Something people like Tony approves of, as long as it isn’t directed towards loyal party members in good standing, like Comrade Clinton.

  13. Releasing the memo is the objective unto itself. There doesn’t even have to be anything in the memo. These are people who spent ten gazillion dollars investigating a conspiracy about a terrorist attack in Libya that they just made up out of cold thin air. The memo is released, thus Trump is absolved. Waters sufficiently muddied.

    What they expect the 30% of Americans who buy this crap to do next is the real mystery.

    1. I think it’s no mystery what the 30% of Americans do that believe the crap you believe: you vote for more totalitarian policies and more government handouts for yourself.

    2. Chris Stevens will be thrilled to know he was killed by cold thin air. And a YouTube video, of course.

      1. To be fair, that incident did rid the world of Vilerat.

  14. For the sake of argument, if the request for a warrant did indeed rely on the dossier, but they could have gotten it anyway, is that a “glaring omission?”

  15. News alert! Trump likes chicks with big tits! And nobody can call that fake news.

    1. I would have a problem with him if he didn’t. Everyone loves bazooms.

  16. We know it argues that the FBI inappropriately used the infamous Steele dossier and concealed its origins as a Democratic opposition tool to get a court’s permission to secretly snoop on former Trump aide Carter Page.

    Whether that’s an accurate assessment of what actually happened we don’t really know.

    What we know is that the FBI claimed that it needed to surveill a presidential campaign using very weak national-security claims.

    that the presidential campaign was that of the opposition party to the then-current administration raises serious questions.

    I find this whole fake-even-handed “well we don’t really know” stuff sort of odd coming from people who’d normally argue that these sorts of domestic surveillance powers are *by themselves* unneeded, unjustified, unwarranted, and unconstitutional… regardless of the claimed reasons why, or the weasel-rationales you seem to want to cling to.

    if the FBI used material provided by Fusion GPS to get a FISA warrant, it strongly suggests that the national security apparatus of the country was being manipulated for political purposes.

    “If”. If thats the case, its a big fucking deal. See how clear and easy that is to say?

    1. The national security apparatus of the country is currently being manipulated for political purposes.

      The Steele document has not been debunked. Trump and people around him really are involved in money laundering and conspiracy with the Russian oligarchy. Obama did not invent it as a pretext to spy on Trump and then go on to lose the election.

      1. I can definitely see money laundering and other mob like crimes taking place. And like many mob bosses, that could be his eventual undoing.

        That doesn’t mean that Russia is responsible in the slightest for his winning. You do realize that right?

        1. That doesn’t suit the approved marxist narrative, so Tony is incapable of realizing it.

      2. “The Steele document has not been debunked.”

        there’s nothing to “Debunk” because none of its claims of fact are even verifiable. Which is why no news media would touch it with a 100-ft pole before the election.

        what IS provable about it is that the document was generated by funds provided by the Clinton campaign.

        By definition, material dug up by a partisan campaign to destroy its enemies is highly-suspect. Particularly when it involves “Russian whores urinating on things”.

        If you can cite a single “fact” in the steele dossier which has subsequently been substantiated, please cite it.

      3. It doesn’t need to be “debunked” because it’s never been “bunked”.

      4. “…Trump and people around him really are involved in money laundering and conspiracy with the Russian oligarchy…”

        I’m pretty sure you’re stupid enough to think that has been established.
        Tell us the whopper about “treason” again, Tony. It’s always good for a laugh. And don’t leave out Elvis’ alien love child this time.
        Lefty imbeciles…

      5. The national security apparatus of the country is currently being manipulated for political purposes.

        If by “manipulated”, you mean “dragged through the mud”, “taken apart”, and “pressured”, you’re right.

        And it’s well-deserved too.

        The Steele document has not been debunked.

        The Steele dossier is a joke.

        Obama did not invent it as a pretext to spy on Trump and then go on to lose the election.

        Indeed, he didn’t! What actually happened was rather different and even more corrupt.

    2. I find this whole fake-even-handed “well we don’t really know” stuff sort of odd coming from people who’d normally argue that these sorts of domestic surveillance powers are *by themselves* unneeded, unjustified, unwarranted, and unconstitutional

      So they should say “We do know because domestic surveillance is bad”?

      1. They should say the FBI is in the wrong even if using a fabricated oppo document to obtain a secret spying warrant is technically legal. Like they would have done before their black messiah ascended to the presidency and made all government holy.

      2. spare me the “So what you’re saying is”…. Cathy Newman-strawmanning.

        my point was that this magazine’s normal position is that domestic surveillance is objectionable for exactly this reason: because govt can use anything to justify it.

        the fact is we now have exactly the sort of example that should prove the point of anti-surveillance people. this should be shouted to the rooftops as exactly the sort of unconstitutional use of “national security” powers for partisan political purposes

        instead, you see them weaseling around looking for any excuse NOT to condemn it outright, because they don’t like the people it was being used against. so they’re staking out this retarded middle ground where they claim “well, its complicated, and anyway, even if the FBI used obviously-partisan docs to initiate this obviously unconstitutional surveillance…. well, they might have (in some alternate universe) used different ones, so like, well… ”

        what a bunch of horseshit.

        1. And now that the memo has been released, let’s compare McCabe’s own comments re: the Steele document utility vs. Shakes/Sullum’s “it doesn’t matter” rationale

          Shackford:

          Whether that’s an accurate assessment of what actually happened we don’t really know. As Reason’s Jacob Sullum has pointed out, based on what we know about Page’s interactions with Russian officials, the FBI likely would have been able to produce enough probable cause to get a wiretap approved even without the Steele dossier.

          From the report:

          * The Steele dossier formed an essential part of the initial and all three renewal FISA applications against Carter Page.

          * Andrew McCabe confirmed that no FISA warrant would have been sought from the FISA Court without the Steele dossier information.

          * The FBI authorized payments to Steele for work on the dossier. The FBI terminated its agreement with Steele in late October when it learned… that Steele was talking to the media.

          * The political origins of the Steele dossier were known to senior DOJ and FBI officials, but excluded from the FISA applications.

          1) it was used, 2) it was essential to their application 3) they knew it was politically motivated.

  17. Remember way back during the campaign of ’16 when Trump claimed he was being wiretapped at Trump Tower? Remember how everyone in the media said he was loony. That even the accusation was beyond the pale?

    Remember how all of the evening pundits told us that wiretapping a presidential candidate is a big deal and Obama never would allow such a thing? Remember all that?

    Notice how they no longer think it was a big deal that our government was spying on a presidential campaign. That’s how far we’ve shifted in a year. Now it is not only no big deal that the government was spying on Trump, it is a big deal if you complain about the government spying on a candidate.

    1. Pepperridge Farms remembers.

    2. Remember way back during the campaign of ’16 when Trump claimed he was being wiretapped at Trump Tower?

      No.

      1. They were still denying that any such thing had happened as of last March. Here’s the pivot to “of course people on the campaign were being wiretapped! They had a warrant! It is all legal! “

        The funny thing is, Obama administration officials bragged about the whole thing right after the inauguration. They went to the New York Times and boasted about how they had taken classified information from surveillance of the Trump campaign and disseminated it around various agencies in order to “preserve it” for after the election, with the intention of leaking it to the press in order to damage the incoming president.

        They boast openly that they took classified information and leaked it to the press with the expressed intention of preventing the transfer of power after the election from being successful.

        That’s how strong the fealty to tribe is. People in the press reported all of this and acted as if it were just normal actions for responsible government employees to take. As far as I know this is the first time an outgoing administration has actively tried to sabotage the next administration. They openly did it with policy decisions like DACA, and covertly with “unmasking” of what were then claimed to be “incidental” surveillance of Trump campaign officials. And as of today, the press still hasn’t pivoted from team politics to 4th estate watchdog.

  18. Aww, a Koch stooge having to abandon all pretense of principle and side with the surveillance state as long as it’s weaponized against Trump. Darn it all anyway!

  19. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do,

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  20. Sadly I don’t expect much from this memo. It will be nice for exposing government corruption if there is. I do feel in my gut, from all the evidence I have seen that is verified, that there is a high likelihood that people in the FBI and other agencies have been hardcore sabotaging Trump though. The question is will they find evidence of such to nail anybody to a cross with.

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