Consider the talk, that the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s pending report based on a year’s investigation about questionable FBI actions, may have been a contributing factor as to why the FBI’s Deputy Director Andrew McCabe resigned unexpectedly on 1/29/18.
I am asserting that the rush to release the Nunes anti-FBI memo may also be due to this pending Inspector General’s report.
Dear Readers, Bear with me and see if you don’t end up agreeing with me.
The US Congressman from California, Devin Nunes, acts like a man who has been compromised by the Russian government as he carries the water for the republican President Donald Trump who walks, talks and acts like the definition of a Russian asset. He has just embarked the committee on a course of action that is a first in its history,
The US House Intelligence Committee republican members led by their Chairman Devin Nunes have turned a committee which had been one of the last bastions of non-partisanship into a partisan arm of the presidency. His committee was supposed to be conducting an independent investigation about Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The republicans are following the lead of Mr. Nunes in a course of action that is wrong on so many fronts. This is the same man who was supposed to have recused himself from being part of the Committee’s probe about Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential elections because he had proven to be hyper-partisan in his attempts to cover for the president.
It was around 3/22/17, when the US House Intelligence Committee chair, Devin Nunes (R-CA) claimed at an impromptu press conference that he had uncovered intelligence which was very concerning, and giving credence to the president’s claim of having been under surveillance (wiretapped on orders from the previous president). Eventually, we figured out that he had a meeting with his supposed intelligence source around dusk on 3/21/17 at the White House. Then on 3/22/17, he had his huddle with the US House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-KY) before he participated in a quickie press conference, followed by a run to the White House to share his findings with the president which culminated with him holding another press conference. In short, the source for his intelligence material came to him directly from the White House which he was supposed to claim that he had accidentally uncovered but which portrayed the president in a more favorable light.
This dog and pony show was followed up with a White House letter dated March 30, 2017, stating that in the course of the staff doing they regular duties, they inadvertently discovered the intelligence data which was shared with Rep. Devin Nunes. The actual intelligence which was viewed by Rep. Nunes at the White House hadn’t yet been shared with his fellow committee members.
After Mr. Nunes had been faulted by his congressional colleagues for sharing this information with the president before consulting with other members of the intelligence committee, it was publicly announced that he was recusing himself from having further involvement in the Committee’s Trump-Russia probe which we now know, was another lie.
BACK TO JANUARY 2018
After all of the above debacle and instead of Mr. Nunes recusing himself, he and his staff have been busy reviewing highly classified material to develop an anti-FBI memo. On January 29, 2018, the republicans on a partisan basis passed on a plan to make the memo public which was compiled in large part from classified data reviewed in a secure room, They decided to forego the standard de-classification process of having the memo vetted to insure that the sources and methods of collection are not inadvertently compromised. This is the first time ever that this type of work product has been voted to be made public without having been vetted through a de-classification process that can be conducted by the US Department of Justice, the Inspector General’s office or a panel of experts with high clearance designations.
As a matter of fact, the Inspector General’s office would have been the appropriate department to vet the Nunes anti-FBI memo because they all knew that the IG’s office is close to sharing their findings around February/ March 2018 about any FBI’s wrong doing which this office had been investigating for over a year.
News feeds have been reporting that the Justice Department’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, has been investigating several facets of the FBI’s investigations into Hillary Clinton’s email servers and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. He had been reviewing whether the FBI’s Deputy Director Andrew McCabe should have recused himself from the Clinton investigation given that his wife ran a Democratic campaign for public office in 2015 (This was not a high office position). The IG had also been looking at the controversial text message exchanges between F.B.I. officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who were involved in both the Clinton and Trump probes.
In short, he may have a report to be revealed shortly detailing some of what may be contained in the Nunes anti-FBI memo. Is there a possibility that some of the report’s findings would have made the memo a moot venture?
The republican partisans in the US Congress have been using the talking point that the FBI Christopher Wray and a couple of agents from his staff had read the memo on 1/28/18 when they know full well that this is not an acceptable substitute for a proper vetting and that the Department of Justice has formally requested that they not take this reckless action.
These republican committee members have delivered the memo to the president as a representative of the executive branch of government of which the Department of Justice and the FBI are under. The president can de-classify material at will as he has done in the past. The president has 5 days to object before it becomes automatically public information but he can decide to act sooner. The president’s Chief of Staff General John Kelly is on record as supporting the release of this memo asap.
All of the above actions are designed to end / disrupt the FBI’s Trump Russian probe being led by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller III.
THE BIG QUESTION
For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why the House Intel Committee republicans were in a rush to make public this Nunes anti-FBI memo, without it being subjected to the standard vetting process.
Beyond purely partisan reasons, I couldn’t think of why the republican majority in the Intel Committee voted down the opportunity to have officials by the FBI and the Department of Justice talk to them, in order for these agents to offer explanations regarding assertions contained within the anti- FBI memo. And then why would the majority vote down a plan to publicly release the democratic minority intel members’ counter memo? This belies the republicans’ claim that they have acted in the spirit of full transparency.
I am convinced that if the shoes were reversed and if it was the Clinton memo being read by the FBI Director Chris Wray alone, that the memo would NOT be categorized as having been appropriately vetted.
Both the Us Department of Justice and the FBI heads are in the process of asking the White House not to make this memo public.
The final big question is, are the House Intel Committee republicans acting beyond crass partisan motives to cover for the president? Are they trying to beat the clock to make sure they release their anti-FBI memo which was months in the making, before the Inspector General discloses his critical report of some of the FBI’s actions?
UPDATE on 1/31/18: As per a 1/31/18 Bloomberg report, “FBI Director Christopher Wray reportedly told the White House he does not support the controversial GOP memo’s release because it contains “inaccurate information and paints a false narrative. President Trump was overheard Tuesday night telling a Republican lawmaker that he is “100 percent” behind the memo’s release after his State of the Union address.” (See: FBI Director Opposes GOP Memo Release, Citing Inaccuracies Bloomberg)