Democratic Memo

Twitter Tråd av Seth Abramson.

[Denne Twitter-tråden (på engelsk) fra Seth Abramson er en live-lesing av dokumentet «Democratic Memo» som nylig ble utgitt av «House Intelligence Committee». Abramson påpeker at dette dokumentet adresserer det såkalte «Nunes Memo» som Trump og hans allierte nylig brukte i et forsøk på å underminere eller stoppe Mueller-etterforskningen.]

(THREAD) BREAKING: This thread is a live-read of the House Intelligence Committee’s just-released «Democratic Memo.» The new memo torches the so-called «Nunes Memo» that Trump and his allies recently used to try to undermine or halt the Mueller probe. Hope you’ll read and share.

1/ Here’s a link to the full memo, which is ten pages long.

2/ The memo begins by noting that the «Nunes Memo» had one ambition: attack the FBI and DOJ so thoroughly, and weaken them so significantly, the result would be the complete and final obstruction of the ongoing Mueller probe. Trump and Nunes hoped to sink the probe permanently.

3/ The thesis of the Democratic Memo is that the FBI and DOJ have not only acted reasonably in investigating Trump-Russia ties but—at all points—legally, professionally, and admirably. Note: this thesis is consistent with what law enforcement experts have been saying for months.

4/ The more *specific* claim made by the Democratic Memo—a sort of sub-thesis—is that the FBI and DOJ at no point violated the core principles or integrity of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), its statutory court (FISC), or any FISA warrant-application processes.

5/ MEMO POINT #1: Contrary to GOP claims, Steele’s dossier wasn’t the basis for initiation of the FBI-DOJ Trump-Russia investigation in July ’16, and indeed the FBI team working the case didn’t receive Steele’s raw intel until September. We know from public evidence this is true.

6/ In fact, the Trump-Russia probe began when U.S. law enforcement received from *multiple* allied intel agencies info on clandestine meetings between Trump officials and Russian nationals abroad. Also, a Trump staffer—Papadopoulos—accidentally leaked damaging Trump-Russia intel.

7/ MEMO POINT #2: The FISA surveillance warrant that led to surveillance of Carter Page was issued in October of 2016—when Page wasn’t working for the Trump campaign—and relied upon many evidence streams as part of its application process, with Steele’s dossier only one of these.

8/ This claim is also correct. Page left the Trump campaign *prior* to October 2016, and the FBI had previously suspected him of being a Russian spy *prior* to 2016—so they had a wealth of investigative information to offer the FISA court that had nothing to do with Chris Steele.

9/ It’s important to understand that when Steele went to the FBI in July 2016, (a) he’d only done a fraction of his research, (b) he only released that fraction to one agent, and (c) by late August, nothing had been done with his raw intel—it hadn’t been shared widely in the FBI.

10/ Moreover, as the Democratic Memo notes, FBI contact with Page while he was technically on the Trump campaign occurred in March 2016—prior to Steele beginning his work on Trump-Russia ties, prior to Page’s July trip to Moscow, and prior to Page doing any actual work for Trump.

11/ The Memo also notes that *renewals* of the Page warrant after October 2016—and there were several of them—*didn’t* rely on the Steele Dossier, but rather on information gleaned pursuant to the October warrant. In other words, that October warrant yielded inculpatory evidence.

12/ MEMO POINT #3: The FBI never paid Steele—it trusted him because he’d worked with the FBI before and had done excellent, reliable work as a partner with U.S. law enforcement. But even so, *it told the FISC* that Steele’s employer—not Steele—had been hired by a political group.

13/ One interesting fact disclosed by the Memo—and kudos for its candor here—is that Steele *was* terminated as a source by the FBI. What we know from other evidence is that this occurred because Steele spoke to the media—which he did because the FBI sat for *months* on his info.

14/ Steele has said he believes 70%-90% of the raw intel he collected from trusted, MI6-developed sources is accurate. If so, by August he believed he’d collected intel concerning a treasonous plot to steal the U.S. presidency. Of *course* he was stunned when the FBI didn’t act.

15/ Republicans somehow turned Steele’s fears of a pro-Trump plot at the FBI—which fears we later learned were well-founded, given the «Trumplandia» plot IG Horowitz is investigating—into proof he’s a Dem operative. In fact, he correctly sussed out something was wrong at the FBI.

16/ Steele’s amazement at how the intel he gave the FBI was handled is bolstered by (a) the FBI not giving it to its Trump-Russia team for two months, and (b) the FBI falsely telling the New York Times ten days before the election that there was no evidence of Trump-Russia ties.

17/ Moreover, those suspicious missteps occurred as (c) the FBI repeatedly leaked damaging—sometimes wildly false—information about Clinton to the Trump campaign throughout October 2016. Jim Comey acknowledged those leaks publicly—and was investigating them when Trump fired him.

18/ So if Steele went to the media to get into public discourse the intel he’d found, it wasn’t because he was working for the Dems—he wasn’t; he didn’t even know who’d hired Fusion—it was that he had intel concerning a threat to US national security that the FBI was sitting on.

19/ MEMO POINT #4: The Democratic Memo observes—and this is undisputed—that almost *none* of the House Intel Committee Republicans who voted for the release of the so-called «Nunes Memo,» *including Nunes himself*, had read the classified intelligence on which that doc was based.

20/ This point—along with a concurrent one made by the Democratic Memo, that some of the sensitive intel in the Nunes Memo was *needlessly* added—underscores that Trump agent Nunes, possibly in coordination with Trump, crafted a *wholly political doc* to attack the FBI and DOJ.

21/ It’s too esoteric to unpack in detail, but the below paragraph in the Democratic Memo underscores that everything about the process by which the Nunes Memo was vetted, crafted, voted on, released, and defended from FBI/DOJ critique confirms that it was a wholly political doc.

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Seth Abramson er advokat, professor ved ‘University of New Hampshire’, og han er en kjent politisk kommentator på CNN og BBC. Han har også hatt nylige intervjuer på CBS, CBS Radio, MSNBC, NBC Radio, ABC News, ABC Radio, NPR, PBS, the CBC, Bloomberg, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, New York Magazine, Politico, Congressional Quarterly, The New York Daily News, The Chronicle of Higher Education, og andre.