Nunes Memo Does Russia’s Work of Eroding Trust in American Justice
To cast suspicion on the FBI, the memo notes Papadopoulos triggered the bureau’s probe—but omits that he later pleading guilty to lying about his dealings with the Russians.
However FBI Agent Peter Strzok felt about FBI lawyer Lisa Page, his texts to his supposed mistress became most emotional not about her but about a dire threat to our national security.
The threat that rouses such ardor in Strzok draws only a shrug from some in the White House and Congress who most loudly proclaim themselves patriots. President Trump excoriates those who go down on one knee during the national anthem, but himself goes down on both knees to an avowed enemy.
“f*ck the cheating motherf*cking Russians,” Strzok said of the threat in a text cited by The Wall Street Journal. “Bastards. I hate them.”
Strzok continued, “I think they’re probably the worst. F*cking conniving cheating savages. At statecraft, athletics, you name it. I’m glad I’m on Team USA.”
The text was sent in late July, which the least secret secret memo in history pegs as the time Strzok launched a counterintelligence investigation into George Papadopoulos.
The Nunes memo—“SUBJECT: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation”—mentions Papadopoulos only in its last paragraph. The preceding three pages argue that senior figures of the FBI and the Department of Justice used politically tainted information collected by a retired British spy initially hired by a conservative group and then by Hillary Clinton supporters to hoodwink the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) into authorizing a wiretap on Page. Then comes this:
“The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, but there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos,” the Nunes memo says. “The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok.”
Huh? Why would the FBI and DOJ include the Papadopoulos information if they did not believe he and Page were possible elements of the conspiracy that got it all going in the first place? That conspiracy being the effort by the Russians to influence the presidential election and undermine our democracy.
The memo does then note, “The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok.”
But the memo fails to mention that the investigation Strzok commenced later ended with Papadopoulos pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about his dealings with the Russians. The memo instead hurries to question the agent’s integrity.
“Strzok was reassigned by the Special Counsel’s Office to FBI Human Resources for improper text messages with his mistress, FBI Attorney Lisa Page (no known relation to Carter Page), where they both demonstrated a clear bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton, whom Strzok had also investigated,” the memo states.
The memo further fails to mention Strzok’s feelings regarding the Russians and the possible conspiracy succinctly described in Papadopoulos’ detailed admission to making false statements during an FBI interview.
“At the time of the interview, the FBI had an open investigation into the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the Campaign and Russia’s efforts,” the Statement of Offense accompanying Papadopoulos’ guilty plea notes.
Nobody can rightly approve of Strzok texting political sentiments on an FBI phone. Everybody should understand why he would have been disturbed by Trump’s lack of outrage over the Russian effort to undermine the true source of America’s greatness.
Strzok’s anger at Russian meddling should be shared by all true members of Team USA.
And we should save some fire and fury for those behind this memo that targets the two institutions that stand against the Russian meddling. Nunes’ memo goes past cherry-picking and omissions to divert us from the facts and obscure the truth.
Any assault raises the question of motive. The memo says in a section headed “Purpose” that its intent is to warn of a “troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.”
Trump tweeted early Friday morning, “The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans - something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago. Rank & File are great people!”
That from the President who pressed FBI Director James Comey to give Gen. Mike Flynn a break. Flynn subsequently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Trump had by then fired Comey.
You now have to wonder if the memo will serve as a pretext to get rid of others in the sacred investigative process who are not likely to give Trump himself a break should the time come. He was asked on Friday if he was looking to get rid of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is presently overseeing the Russia investigation.
“You figure that one out,” Trump replied.
The White House subsequently insisted that Trump has no plans to fire Rosenstein, though it is sometimes hard to discern whether such statements are on behalf of the president or simply wishful thinking by his wranglers.
Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain recognized the one indisputable winner in this whole mess, tweeting:
“The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests—no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s.”
And what do you want to bet Vlad is not done laughing?