Op-Ed: A Tale of Two Memos
Op-Ed: A Tale of Two Memos by Kenneth Whittle – DisObedient Media
On Saturday, the much-anticipated Democratic rebuttal to the “Nunes” memo was finally released. As suspected, the memo contradicts some of the claims made in the majority memo, agrees with others, and completely leaves out important details.
For example, the democratic memo starts off by claiming that, “Christopher Steele’s raw intelligence reporting did not inform the FBI’s decision to initiate its counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016.”
However, the “Nunes” memo never refutes this point, and, in fact, even states on page 4 that: “The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok.” The memo further alleges that the FBI did not rely on the Steele Dossier for its FISA Court application.
More specifically the memo alleges that: “DOJ cited multiple sources to support the case for surveilling Page – but made only narrow use of information from Steele’s sources about Page’s specific activities in 2016, chiefly his suspected July 2016 meetings in Moscow with Russian officials.”
However, problems arise with this allegation when viewed in light of other evidence. On February 6, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, released a less-redacted copy of their letter to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and FBI Director Wray. In the letter, both Senators requested there be an investigation opened into Christopher Steele for “potential violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, for statements the Committee has reason to believe Mr. Steele made regarding his distribution of information contained in the dossier.”
According to the letter, on March 17, 2017, after reviewing copies of two FISA applications, it was found that in both applications, the FBI relied heavily on Mr. Steele’s dossier claims, and “both applications were granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).”
Then, in December of 2017, both chairmen reviewed four total FISA applications, all relying on the dossier. The letter states that on October 21, 2016, when the first FISA warrant application was filed for Carter Page, the bulk of the application consisted of, “allegations against Page that were disclosed to the FBI by Mr. Steele and are also outlined in the dossier.”
The letter states that the application appeared to contain “no additional information corroborating the dossier allegations against Mr. Page.” The letter notes that this application did include a citation to a news article, but the article appeared to be “sourced to Mr. Steele’s dossier as well.”
As Disobedient Media has previously reported, FISA is an adversarial process, in which only one side (the government) can present evidence. Due to its adversarial nature, the government is required to produce all material and relevant facts to the court, including any information which may be potentially favorable to the target of the FISA application.