After the Republican FISA-abuse memo was released last Friday, Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote on Saturday to “Dear Democratic Colleague” a six-page response to the FISA memo, which was “exclusively obtained” by NBC News.
I don’t know how this letter to “Dear Democratic Colleague” was “exclusively obtained” to NBC, meaning it’s leaked to the media, while the Nunes’ memo went through the whole process before public release. Anyway, let me just point you some of the problems.
Dossier’s central role
The FISA court found probable cause to believe that Carter Page is an agent of a foreign power. Nothing in the Nunes memo rules out the possibility that considerable evidence beyond the Steele dossier helped the court reach that conclusion.
However, Nunes memo stated that McCabe testified that “no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information“. Note that the quote was from the memo, not from the testimony. We already have Democrats claiming that the memo’s description is wrong. However, Nadler didn’t dispute this description.
To obtain an order to conduct surveillance under Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the government must provide “a statement of the facts and circumstances” demonstrating probable cause that “the target of the electronic surveillance is . . . an agent of a foreign power.”
However, this is only half true, and one critical part was omitted. Carter Page is a US citizen, so DOJ has to show that his clandestine activities on Russia’s (or other foreign power) behalf might have involved federal crimes.
Based on what we already know, it’s unlikely that he has committed federal crimes on Russia’s behalf. Note that he hasn’t been charged with any crimes after one year of surveillance. Also, Russian spies tried but failed to recruit him in 2013, and he was interviewed by FBI but was never charged (he was “male-1” in the doc) of any wrongdoings.
Ongoing investigation vs evidence collected
First, the Nunes memo appears to concede that the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russian government was well underway before the government applied for an order to conduct surveillance of Carter Page.
So what? How long the agents have been investigating, simply has nothing to do with whether or not a FISA warrant issued be issued. As far as I know, the warrants are issued by based on evidence, not time.
So is there any evidence? Well, on March 5, 2017, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted in an interview that no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign was found when he was in office.
Authentication of evidence
And, amazingly, the Nunes memo does not provide a single shred of evidence that any aspect of the Steele dossier is false or inaccurate in any way.
Seriously? It it the job of DOJ and FBI to prove that the evidence is authentic, not the other way round. And we already know that the verification was in its “infancy” at the time of initial application, and “only minimally corroborated” even after Steele was terminated.
Sorry, but I’m not going to your point 3 and 4, which are nothing but cheap political rants.