Why the Nunes memo is a dud

Why the Nunes memo is a dud

Why the Nunes memo is a dud

Lindsey Graham of SC late Tuesday released a criminal referral they had sent to the Justice Department earlier this year asking for an investigation into the former spy, Christopher Steele.

You have to hand it to the Democrats for throwing another wrench in the works regarding the memo from the GOP, which shows wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton and her supporters at the top of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department.

FISA warrants, which are issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, allow agencies to spy on US citizens suspected of working for a foreign government.

Here are a few key takeaways.

Before Trump was elected, Boente had been working as the USA attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia - one of the premier federal jurisdictions in the country, known for its handling of high-profile terrorism and public corruption cases.

Specifically, they point to a British court filing in which Steele says he briefed several news outlets in September 2016 on a collection of memos he wrote detailing allegations, including some salacious claims, of ties between Russia, Trump and Trump associates.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Trump is expected to release the Democrats' memo, with certain parts redacted. The senators make public for the first time actual text from the FBI's FISA application for surveillance of Carter Page, a member of Donald Trump's campaign team. At its core, Memo-gate is little more than a media spectacle overlaying a political debate about classified information that Americans-and indeed, most lawmakers-don't have access to.

"Blocking its release, and not the Republican one, is clearly a partisan move to muddy the facts, deceive the American public, and distract from Special Counsel Mueller's Russian Federation investigation", said Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

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On Tuesday, Kelly told reporters that Trump hadn't yet read the 10-page Democratic rebuttal because it's "quite lengthy". Last week, Trump attacked both agencies through his Twitter account, saying their leadership and investigators had "politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans".

They noted that federal law enforcement officials had informed the court about the political origins of Steele's work and that some of the former spy's information was corroborated by the FBI.

"If Page was using one of his standard phones, it was probably picked up", Elizabeth Goiten, a former Justice Department attorney who now co-directs the Brennan Center for Justice's Liberty and National Security Program, told Politico.

Put politics aside for a moment.

While Nunes and the Republican party would like to claim that the warrant for the surveillance of Page was based purely on the Steele dossier, this is not the case. But only careful readers are likely to catch the critical admissions.

Though Strzok's text messages reveal bias in the FBI, many Democrats have pointed to the Papadopoulos information as justification for the investigation, which started before the release of the dossier. Page joined the Trump campaign in 2016 and went to Moscow to give a lecture.

Last week, the President released a previously-classified document authored by the Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes.

A more than 30-year veteran of the Justice Department, Boente was appointed to the USA attorney's job by Obama, and he expected he would depart eventually after Trump made his own picks for those jobs.

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