Political Editors / Feb. 1, 2018

Maligning the FISA Memo

DOJ and Democrats seek to discredit the memo before the American people see what abuses it alleges.

Over the objections of Democrats, the Justice Department and the FBI, the White House announced that President Donald Trump has given the go-ahead to release to the public the controversial House Intelligence Committee’s memo on the FBI’s use of surveillance later today. Finally, the American people will get to see for themselves what the handwringing by Democrats and deep state bureaucrats is all about.

The leadership at the FBI has painted the memo as a danger to national security, saying that releasing it would be “extraordinarily reckless.” After Director Christopher Wray reviewed the memo, the FBI stated, “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.” Interesting, though it now appears the FBI will have ample opportunity to fill in those “omissions” for the American public. The fact of the matter is, whether the DOJ and FBI acknowledge it or not, they have a trust problem with the American people, irrespective of anything Trump or the House Intel Committee has said. The appearance of wanting to prevent the public from seeing the information contained within the memo while at the same time seeking to discredit it only furthers speculation of impropriety within the agency, fueling greater distrust.

And of course Democrats aren’t helping matters. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) claims there were “substantive” and “material” alterations done to the memo by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), “changes not approved by the Committee.” A spokesman for Nunes responded to the charge saying that changes to the memo were minor “grammatical fixes and two edits requested by the FBI and by the Minority [Democrats] themselves.” Here’s an idea: Once the memo has been made public, Schiff can then enlighten Americans as to what was altered. At this point it is Schiff and his fellow Democrats, not Nunes or Republicans, who are seeking to mislead the American public regarding the memo.

The scandals such as the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups and the DOJ’s “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal under Barack Obama reveal that he weaponized executive agencies so as to advance his leftist agenda. And those are merely two of several examples. Ultimately the U.S. government is accountable to the American people. If those in government service seek to manipulate and subvert the system in order to further their own political aims and agendas, then those individuals need to be exposed and held to account. A broad trust in government is an essential element for the health and sustainability of any democratic republic. If those granted governing power are found to have lied and sought to hide the truth, then trust is the first casualty. And with the collapse of trust comes the eventual collapse of Liberty.

At least now Americans will be able to see for themselves the contents of the memo.

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