On Friday, House Republicans dropped Devin Nunes classified memo alleging FBI abuses while securing a FISA warrant for surveillance of sketchy Trump campaign foreign advisor Carter Page, who has extensive Russian ties and even lived there for five years The memo, which was the subject of strenuous objections from the FBI and the Justice Department, ended up being a rehash of previously-known facts with a few new revelations, all aimed to discredit ex-British spy Christopher Steele and his compilation of the Russia dossier.
The memo never accuses any government agency of illegal activity, but Trump reportedly okayed the release because he believes it will “discredit” the FBI and magically make the Russia investigation disappear. Well, Republican Sen. John McCain has gone on record to assert that the investigation must continue without interference from Trump or Congress, who he called out for “doing Putin’s job” with this memo. The leader of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee had more to say:
“The latest attacks against the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests — no party’s, no President’s, only Putin’s. The American people deserve to know all the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded. Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the lens of politics and manufacturing political sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.”
It’s also worth noting that former FBI Director James Comey (who was singled out in the memo regarding his briefing of Trump on the dossier) was underwhelmed by the “dishonest and misleading” document, which contained no smoking gun. He tweeted, “That’s it?”
Meanwhile, CNN reports word from Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who says that the White House believes that the memo calls the FBI and Justice Department’s integrity into question:
“Earlier today, President Donald J. Trump declassified a memorandum from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The memorandum raises serious concerns about the integrity of decisions made at the highest levels of the Department of Justice and the FBI to use the Government’s most intrusive surveillance tools against American citizens.”
Did anyone expect Sanders to say anything else?