Adam Schiff's big nothingburger
So the big drumroll is done and the much-touted slam-dunk revelation from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee about how President Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton is out, and it's a .... nothingburger. A big plop, barely worthy of news.
The Democrat memo response on government surveillance abuses is a total political and legal BUST. Just confirms all of the terrible things that were done. SO ILLEGAL!
A summary of the memo, from the House Minority team led by Rep. Adam Schiff, is very well done here by Meaning in History's Mark Wauck. American Thinker's legal eagle Alan Favish has a useful exploration of some of the details here, too. The broad picture is that the much vaunted game-changer that Schiff squawked and squawked about as revelations of FBI abuses from the Steele dossier, revealed in the original House memo by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, is nothing but he-said, she-said rubbish, and what it shows is Democrats playing defense.
Here's my summary of the summaries:
- Schiff's memo claims the Steele dossier, the garbage-filled 'unverified' opposition research used by the FBI as the basis for obtaining a FISA warrant on Trump advisor Carter Page, really wasn't the main reason why the bureau spied on both him and by extension Donald Trump. Schiff says the dossier was just "narrowly" used as a basis - neglecting to note that 'narrow' was all that was needed. After all, the big stuff in the dossier was the phony story about Trump bedding down with Moscow hookers and having them deliver 'golden showers.' Carter Page was a lot less useful in the opposition research for the dossier's original purpose which was fill out a conspiracy to smear Trump in the press. But its tiny mention was plenty for the FBI to get excited about, except if they had bothered to assess the purpose of the dossier and its provenance. Calling it 'narrow' is disingenuous indeed. Narrow is all the FBI needs - and that is why it abused its power.
- Schiff's memo also notes that Carter Page had been the target for recruitment by Russian agents, and forgets to note that Page told the FBI all about it, in detail, and couldn't stop talking. That's not a guy who's a spy. The bureau's Russian agent claim was otherwise based on Page's consulting work in Russia, his travel to Russia (now that's illegal?) and the fact that he was a guy who just liked Russia. Not a very convincing 'narrative' for spying on someone, unless there was a political agenda, specifically, one involving Getting Trump.
- Schiff defends the whole investigation because Trump campaign people, specifically his son, Don, Jr., had a meeting with Natalya Veselnitskaya, a Kremlin-linked lawyer, who promised opposition research in exchange for a meeting, which is not illegal in itself, and certainly no more illegal than the collected opposition research of Steele dossier. Why is it legal for Democrats to gather opposition research from Russians in the Steele dossier, but not Republicans? Schiff doesn't say. It's even less worthy of attention because Don, Jr. got nothing from the Russkis, and did nothing for them and their drop-the-sanctions real agenda.
UPDATE: The House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Devin Nunes, has a point-by-point refutation of the Schiff memo, here.
That's all there is to this ten-page memo, there's nothing more. What we are seeing here is a weak rebuttal to the carefully investigated and verified facts of the Republican memo, created by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, which really did shift the Beltway on its axis. Nunes established that unmaskings had occurred way above the scope of the narrow legal exception; that the Steele dossier was the knowingly false basis of the FBI to seek a FISA warrant to spy on Trump, through Carter Page, and the safeguards to Americans from America's spy agencies were appallingly violated, by both the judge and the federal investigators, who incidently, were rabidly anti-Trump in their little lovebird text exchanges.
What we have here is Schiff arguing weakly and defensively, with zero new information, that the FBI 'did not, did not' abuse their power, and that the Steele dossier is perfectly true and a valid basis for seeking a FISA warrant to spy on someone.
What Schiff lacks here are facts, any new facts. All he is saying is that he doesn't like the facts established with rock-solid basis, by the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee. He's really like the facts to be some other way. He looks like a fool again.
These are the people who would rule us in the supposed blue wave come November?