Asked if he had worked with the White House in crafting the #ReleaseTheMemo memo, The Daily Beast reports Devin Nunes’ telling reply.
During Monday’s contentious closed-door committee meeting, Rep. Mike Quigley, a Democrat, asked Nunes point-blank if his staffers had been talking with the White House as they compiled a four-page memo alleging FBI and Justice Department abuses over surveillance of President Trump’s allies in the Russia probe.
According to sources familiar with the exchange, Nunes made a few comments that didn’t answer the question before finally responding, “I’m not answering.”
In his earlier “unmasking” scandal, what Nunes presented as information revealed to him by his own sources within the intelligence community turned out to be a deception coordinated by Nunes, Michael Flynn protege Ezra Cohen-Watnick, and White House attorney Michael Ellis. As the farce that Nunes had returned to the White House to brief them on information that had been generated by the White House unraveled, Nunes was forced to step aside from further involvement in the Russia investigation and sent to stew on the sidelines.
And now it appears that this latest Nunes generated “scandal” really is a scandal after all—one involving Devin Nunes and the Trump White House in a scheme to deceive the public, damage the FBI, and interfere with the Russia investigation.
Nunes lied about both the source and the nature of his information last time. He’s doing it again. And the Trump White House is hurrying to get the information out before the whole ugly scheme comes crashing down around their ears.
Seen it? John Kelly probably wrote it.
What Kelly means by “everything out” is, of course, just the release of the White House-created memo, without supporting information, and certainly without the Democratic response that the Republicans on the Nunes-chaired House Intelligence Committee voted to keep under lock and key.
“A misleading set of talking points attacking the FBI...yet another desperate and flailing attempt to undermine Special Counsel Mueller and the FBI,” Democrats characterized it in a Jan. 19 statement.
This isn’t just obstruction, this is OBSTRUCTION. This is the attempt to demean the FBI, subvert the Russia investigation, and plant false information with the America public. And it’s been done as yet another collaboration between the Trump White House and members of the Republican Congress.
Make that OBSTRUCTION and CONSPIRACY. One that has involved the Republican Congress, the Trump White House, Fox News, Breitbart, and thousands of Russian bots all in a prolonged, orchestrated effort to sabotage the Department of Justice and cripple the FBI so that no serious effort can be made to investigate Trump for any offense.
[Nunes] four-page surveillance memo has now far overshadowed the committee’s Russia investigation. As The Daily Beast first reported, it names Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, former FBI Director James Comey, and retiring Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Every Democrat on the House intelligence committee has said Nunes’ memo manipulates the intelligence behind the surveillance request in order to exculpate Trump.
The memo reportedly focuses on the renewal of a FISA warrant for Carter Page and attempts to make the possible use of a memo from Christopher Steele as part of the massive warrant application into a political scandal. It’s a story just about as believable as the excuse Trump and Sessions forced Rod Rosenstein to write stating that Comey needed to be fired for being too mean to Hillary Clinton. Or the note that Trump wrote from Air Force One claiming that the Trump tower meeting was all about adoption. And even if you believe it all, it doesn’t absolve Trump.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, says there is nothing in a classified Republican memo on the Russia investigation that vindicates President Donald Trump.
He says Rep. Devin Nunes of California, the committee chairman, is pushing a "misleading narrative" to undermine the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether Trump's campaign was involved.
One Tuesday, Rod Rosenstein and Christopher Wray came to the White House to state their objections to the letter. Even the FBI has taken the extraordinary step of making an official objection.
With regard to the House Intelligence Committee’s memorandum, the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it. As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.
Any statement that Christopher Wray gave tacit approval to the memo’s contents either before or after the House vote are clearly a lie.
It’s no longer accurate to refer to this as the Nunes memo. It’s the Trump–Nunes memo. And it’s time to retire the #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag for one that’s more accurate.