Devin Nunes and His F#@king Memo

As you may recall, Rep. Devin Nunes had to "step aside" from the Russia investigation because he completely destroyed his credibility by running interference for the White House during the investigation by the House Intelligence Committee, which he chairs, of Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

But that hasn't stopped him from continuing to scheme on behalf of the administration.

For the last week, Nunes has been peddling a memo which reportedly details allegations that the FBI committed surveillance abuses during the 2016 election.

A #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag supporting the document's release inflamed resentments among Trump supporters who believe the "deep state" has targeted their beloved president because he's too awesome or whatever, and not that he's under investigation because he's profoundly corrupt and quite possibly a traitor.

Except, the promoters of the hashtag were so suspicious that Senator Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Adam Schiff sent a letter to the CEOs of Twitter and Facebook requesting "urgent assistance" in determining whether the hashtag had been fueled by Russian bots in another attempt "to manipulate public opinion." And a CNN analysis has found that the hashtag "appears to have been driven at least in part by a swarm of Twitter accounts set up in the past week."

And now Betsy Woodruff and Spencer Ackerman report on the contents of the memo, which is so irresponsible and explosive that even Trump's Justice Department doesn't want it released.
A controversial Republican memo alleging surveillance abuse specifically names FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein along with former FBI Director James Comey.

Capitol Hill sources on both sides of the aisle say the memo's release is only a matter of time. And when it comes out, these current and former officials — all GOP bĂȘtes noires — are likely to face even more criticism from the right over their involvement in FBI counterintelligence work.

...A groundswell is building to release the memo—written by Devin Nunes, the California Republican and key Trump ally who chairs the House intelligence committee—which former FBI agents fear will damage public trust in the bureau. While Democrats say the memo deliberately misrepresents the procedures for obtaining a foreign-intelligence surveillance warrant, The Daily Beast has learned that Hill Republicans are gearing up to use an obscure parliamentary rule to release it.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has expressed serious concerns about the memo's potential release. In a letter sent to Nunes on Jan. 24, Stephen Boyd, the department's top congressional liaison, wrote that "it would be extraordinarily reckless for the Committee to disclose such information publicly without giving the Department and the FBI the opportunity to review the memorandum and to advise the HPSCI [the House intelligence committee] of the risk of harm to national security and to ongoing investigations that could come from public release."

That letter also said the department is "unaware of any wrongdoing" related to the FISA process—indicating the department disagrees with the scores of congressional Republicans who say Nunes' memo provides proof of wrongdoing.
Let's be clear: Jeff Sessions' Justice Department is saying that this memo is "extraordinarily reckless."

But if Nunes is still intent on releasing it, which he is, then someone in the White House is communicating their support to him, which means there's a(nother) fracture between the White House and the Department of Justice.

The White House wants to damage public confidence in both the FBI and the Special Counsel's investigation. Nunes is happy to help. And the Republican leadership is eminently willing to allow this authoritarian minion to assist with the dismantlement of the republic, without resistance or consequence.

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