Right now, it is the evening of January 29, 2018 and TV News reports are announcing that the republicans in the House Intelligence Committee have voted on a partisan basis to make the controversial Nunes memo, public. The republican majority voted down the opportunity to have officials by the FBI and the Department of Justice talk to all the members of the committee in order to offer explanations regarding assertions contained within the anti- FBI memo. Finally, the majority voted down a plan to publicly release the democratic minority counter memo which belies the republicans’ claim that they have acted in the spirit of full transparency.
The republican members in the House Intelligence Committee have instigated a formal investigation of the FBI and the DOJ without following the norm of first consulting with the members of the minority democratic party.
In short, the republicans have short circuited the “rule of law” and have launched a full throttle attack on two of our governmental institutions, the FBI and the DOJ.
All I can say is that if the Rep. Devin Nunes memo moves forward without being reviewed by the Department of Justice, or the Inspector General or an independent panel of experts with the clearance to review intelligence material, before its release to the public, there will be major blow-back.
The process by which a FISA warrant is issued is very secretive. The memo is based on highly classified intelligence that only a select group of House and Senate lawmakers can access. This means that there could very well be sources and methods of data collection which could be compromised. The Department of Justice has formally requested to review this memo to insure that intelligence data is not compromised, but the house committee republicans have refused to comply. Remember when these same players for over a year crucified Mrs. Clinton over her email handling which could have possibly compromised classified data while she was secretary of state.
But the republicans do not feel bound by the same constraints they placed on Mrs. Clinton. So far, the House Intelligence Committee republican members had planned to vote today (1/29/18) to make the Nunes memo public without review by the Justice Department or its Inspector General. Now that the voting process was successful, the memo will be handed over to the White House. The president has 5 days to object before it can be declassified to be made public.
There is a reason that the Intelligence Committees in both the US Senate and the House have been the last bastions of bipartisanship until President Donald Trump’s administration. As in this case, there is the very real probability that the intelligence community officers, in order to prove a falsehood, they would have to reveal classified intelligence which could be harmful to the best interests of our country.
They are now using the tactics of Russian bots, propaganda and disinformation on the American peoples, and all of these activities by the House republicans have the tacit approval of the republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. Mr. Ryan of Wisconsin has turned into a Joe McCarthy.
The reason why I do not give any credence to this memo compiled under the auspices of the republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, who had supposedly recused himself due to a prior overly partisan maneuver to protect the president around March 2017, is that he has refused to honor the request to share it with the US Senate Intelligence Committee Republican Chair Richard Burr. This tells me that the memo could not pass the scrutiny of Senator Burr who is also very knowledgeable about how these investigations are conducted and who has access to all the intelligence reports.
According to a 1/24/18 CNN report, “Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, confirmed to CNN that the panel had not been given access to the Nunes memo.”