I am no Shakespearean scholar, but I do know the line from Hamlet: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.“ That is what came to mind leading up to the release of the Intelligence Committee “FISA memo.” There were many who did not want us to see it, but there is a lot they still are not telling us.
When the memo was released I devoured it. After all, the buildup was monumental. The head of the FBI, Christopher Wray, had spent a reported hour and a half reading it. Then he sent over to two more people to review the memo – one each from the Bureau’s counterintelligence and legal divisions. I read it. It took seven minutes.
Any person who has been following the developments of the Russian Saga learned virtually nothing new. The players had become as familiar as my local baseball team. There were maybe two revelations in here:
1. A positive confirmation that the Steele Dossier was submitted to a judge as if it were not a work of fiction.
2. That Andrew McCabe, then the second in command at the FBI, told a Congressional committee there would have been no FISA submittal without the dossier.
There were no “sources and methods” as maliciously stated by Adam Schiff (D-CA) who is the minority leader on the Intelligence committee. There was little that had not been leaked by both sides.
What are they not telling you:
1. We are not grown up enough to know basic facts about what is a major investigation hanging over a presidential administration from Day One. Only the insiders and their favored members of the press are deemed worthy of knowing the facts.
2. Because the press must protect the establishment they are supposed to investigate, they will not point out the obvious: if the establishment is hyperventilating over the public reading a memo crafted by members of a congressional committee responsible for oversight, then what are they really hiding?
3. The establishment is more interested in protecting itself than protecting us. The FBI and Justice Department wanted the names (ones we already know) redacted. If they did something wrong, they must be shielded from exposure to the public they are hired to protect. They will leak names about citizens charged with crimes of which they may never be convicted, but never ever leak the name of a department employee implicated.
4. They convulse about this memo destroying the reputation of the FBI and DOJ. Contrary to that thinking, it is the people named in this memo and their cohorts who are destructive to the reputation. This is very akin to Lois Lerner and her gang of criminals at the IRS who illegally thwarted organizations from forming nonprofits. The poor IRS people in the field suffered because of budget cutbacks. These good people at the IRS had their reputations impugned and their careers harmed.
Just like that, the FBI agent in Fargo chasing bank criminals will be harmed by the damage done by the people in the memo. So will the U.S. Attorney in Denver. It is not the people who wrote the memo and released the info.
5. The only people talking about firing Bob Mueller are the Democrats trying to whip up a controversy over nothing. Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) caused this recently with a false report of Trump considering firing Mueller: the purpose of which was to create a discussion over nothingness, and many Dems fell in line with a talking point about nothing. The New York Times whipped it up again to defer from the focus on the President at Davos – a story about nothing from seven months ago that had not been acted upon and to the contrary Trump had cooperated for seven months after that with Mueller. At this point, President Trump has expressed nothing about firing Mueller or Rosenstein.
One of the big revelations supposedly is that the investigation did not begin with the dossier; it began with George Papadopoulos. Even David French of the National Review wrote a column about this.
What they are not telling you:
1. The dossier was supposedly started by a Republican (Paul Singer) during the primaries as he hired Fusion GPS to investigate Trump. Here is the lie there – whatever was paid for by Singer was his work product not part of the Steele dossier. Once Trump won the nomination and the Democrats in their devious way (through a couple of layers to hide who was the actual customer) engaged Fusion GPS, it would have been highly unethical for the company to turn over the work product of one customer to another. That would have been Singer’s to do. This dossier started all over and that is why they engaged Steele to gin up this Russian story.
2. We better hope that the Russian investigation did not start with Papadopoulos. Let us get what is being asserted here: a third-rate, 30-year-old who had no creditability and no assigned authority with the Trump campaign had a conversation with the Australian ambassador. In a world-class act of puffery, he asserts some story to the ambassador who then takes that to the FBI.
If our FBI started an investigation into a presidential campaign based on this then we have more serious problems than we thought. If our professional staff responsible for protecting us from evil actors has no more common sense than to investigate this we are in serious, serious trouble. At least the dossier was used to investigate Carter Page (who has some legitimate ties to Russia) instead of someone who is a child trying to act like an adult.
What the Trump campaign is guilty of is working with some possibly questionable characters like Page, Manafort and Papadopoulos. That does not mean they did anything improper. It just means when you mount an insurgent campaign against the establishment, the standard establishment figures may not want to be or may not be wanted as part of that campaign.
What the establishment and the press will not tell you about this whole memo episode is:
1. It appears our system is at such odds because the separation between the parties has become so deep, it is not reconcilable soon.
2. It is not Trump who caused this; he has just brought it to a head. That members of an opposing political party would behave so demonstrably negative in front of the 45 million Americans (at the State of the Union address) means they don’t even care to put on a reasonable face. Watching the Democrats sit in the House Chamber like they did should sadden any American. To think that is what we have come to is tragic.
Charges and countercharges. Lies and more lies. Our government is out of control (not irredeemably). If Putin wanted to think of a scheme to disrupt our country, he could have never dreamt of something so nefarious. Of course, this would not even be a discussion if she would have won.
Can we please get back to running this government for the people?