Government

Demo Memo Unwittingly Confirms GOP Allegations

Adam Schiff and Co. confirm the FBI did not disclose to the FISA court that Clinton and the DNC paid for the dossier.

Thomas Gallatin · Feb. 26, 2018

House Democrats led by Rep. Adam Schiff on Friday released their 10-page memo supposedly rebutting House Republicans’ FISA memo. In the heavily redacted memo, Democrats argue that the FBI acted prudently and well within the bounds of the law when seeking and obtaining a surveillance warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to wiretap Carter Page, a former campaign aide for Donald Trump.

Recall the most damning revelation from the GOP’s memo, written by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), asserted, “Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding [Christopher] Steele’s efforts.” The Demo memo seeks to rebuff this allegation, claiming that the “DOJ was transparent with the court about Steele’s sourcing.” It also includes a footnote from the FBI’s FISA application, which states:

[Steele] was approached by an identified U.S. Person, who indicated to Source #1 [Steele] that a U.S.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. Person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1’s ties to Russia. (The identified U.S. Person and Source #1 have a long-standing business relationship.) The identified U.S. Person hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified U.S. person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1’s ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. Person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign.

Based on this application excerpt, the Demo memo argues that it was clearly inferred that the persons and campaigns in question were that of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, meaning the Republicans’ claim that the FBI failed to disclose who was behind the hiring and funding of the opposition research was false. The trouble for Democrats is that this excerpt actually only confirms the GOP memo’s allegation.

Secondly, the other highly damning assertion made in the House GOP memo was the statement by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who “testified before the committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the [FISA court] without the Steele dossier information.” At the time of the memo’s release, Democrats rushed to claim this statement was false, but their memo made no attempt to rebut McCabe’s testimony, nor was it even mentioned.

Finally, keep in mind that the Senate GOP’s memo was even more damning of the FBI’s malfeasance than the House version was.

What is apparent is that Democrats are not interested in digging into the truly concerning questions raised by this FISA abuse. For example, to what degree did collusion occur between the Hillary campaign, the DNC and Barack Obama’s Department of Justice in working against Donald Trump? Instead, Democrats would rather obfuscate, recriminate and further politicize the whole episode for political advantage in 2018.

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