Grassley/Graham Memo Goes Dark in the Fake News Landscape

WSJ Asks: Why Is The Media Ignoring The Real Bombshell FISA Memo?
WSJ Columnist: Why is the Media Ignoring the Real Bombshell FISA Memo?

 

We’ll bring you Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel’s tweetstorm in a moment, but I’ll take a stab at answering her question about the media right out of the gate.

Three possibilities:
(1) The GOP hyped the Nunes memo, which quickly became the center of this whole firestorm — replete with counter-memos, FBI objections, etc.  The press followed the spotlight.
(2) As we’ve been saying, there are so many complex pieces of this larger puzzle, following the plot is difficult.  It’s not just news consumers wondering, “which memo is this now?” — it’s many of the people trying to cover this drama, too.  The document in question here is a second, less redacted, version of a Senate memo that few people have even heard of.
(3) 
The Senate memo, produced by non-bomb-throwers Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, is substantially more disruptive to the Democrats’ narrative than the Nunes document.  And the press generally prefers Democratic narratives to Republican ones because most journalists are liberals.

My guess is that some blend of all three factors helps explain why the Grassley/Graham memo has barely registered on the national radar, even after we’ve endured multiple high-octane news cycles starring Nunes and Schiff.  But on the substance, does Strassel have a point, or is this just the latest shiny object the right-wing is waving around to distract from “the real story,” now that the Nunes memowas arguably a bit of a dud?  Here’s her case:

1) Why isn’t the (mostly) unredacted Grassley memo front page news? Here’s why: Because it confirms the Nunes memo and blows up the Schiff talking points (which the media ran with).

2)It is confirmation that the FBI’s FISA application relied on the dossier and a news article, and worse, on the credibility of a source in the employ of the Clinton campaign.

Kimberley Strassel

Kimberley Strassel

Kimberley Strassel

5) It provides evidence that Steele was getting information from the Clinton team itself! Via the State Department! So now, not only do we have a dossier based on unnamed shady Russians, but on Sidney Blumenthal. How much of this was engineered by the Clinton campaign from start? 

Does that all of check out?  Allahpundit digs into the document (a much more redacted version had been released previously) and seems to agree that Grassley/Graham is a significantly bigger deal than Nunes.  In our analysis of the latter document last week, we wrote that a major question was how much the DOJ relied on the Steele dossier itself to gain a FISA warrant against former Trump adviser Carter Page.  According to Grassley/Graham, the answer is a lot.  I posited that if investigators had used the unverified dossier as a starting point from which to chase down leads and produce more solid evidence to present to a FISA judge, that’d be one thing.  But if they leaned heavily on Steele’s file itself as the “evidence,” that would be sketchier.  According to the two GOP Senators, the FBI did the latter.  From AP’s excellent summary (the relevant bits of the memo itself are here and here):

…“The bulk of the application” against Page was dossier material…“The application appears to contain no additional information corroborating the dossier allegations against Mr. Page.” In other words, they seem to have treated the dossier as evidence, not as a lead. That’s big news.

But that’s not all. Grassley/Graham allege, based on intelligence, that the man behind the anti-Trump dossier was known to be unreliable by the FBI (they eventually severed ties with him) because he was caught lying either to US law enforcement or to British courts, telling each entity different stories about a key fact. Either way, FISA judges who approved and renewed the Page warrants weren’t told about the proven unreliability of the foreign agent whose work product was (apparently) the central basis for said warrants. The FBI might counter that Steele seemed credible at first, then they dumped him when he burned them, but that doesn’t mean their hands are clean, Allahpundit writes:

(a) that doesn’t solve the problem that the original FISA application against Page evidently relied “heavily” on information passed from a not-very-credible foreign agent and (b) that doesn’t explain why the Bureau allegedly failed to tell the FISA Court in later applications to renew their surveillance of Page that Steele’s info maybe hadn’t been so credible…Grassley and Graham make another good point about Steele’s chattering to the press while his investigation was still ongoing: Once bad actors were aware that he was digging for dirt on Trump, they could have sought him out and fed him any amount of BS in hopes of it trickling through to the FBI and deepening the official suspicion surrounding Team Trump. That’s how Clinton cronies — maybe even Sid Blumenthal — got involved in this clusterfark. Because Steele was supposedly willing to accept even unsolicited tips about Trump, the Clinton team may have fed him rumors to help fill a dossier for which their boss was paying.

Two big points there: Even after the FBI recognized Steele was an established liar, his dishonesty was not disclosed to judges deciding whether to keep the warrants active during renewal applications, which were largely predicated on Steele’s credibility. And the topic about which he apparently lied was whether he blabbed to folks in the media about his work, which could have opened up the floodgates for disinformation from shady characters eager to make the anti-Trump case as juicy and brimming with salaciousness as possible. That’s where Blumenthal and company, whom I wrote about here, may have come in. What a mess. Also, speaking of not revealing pertinent information to the courts, it looks like Nunes was technically incorrect that the judges weren’t made aware that the Steele dossier was paid political oppo research. But he was more broadly correct that the judges didn’t have even close to the full picture of who was behind the unverified partisan document upon which they were primarily basing the surveillance of a US citizen — who happened to be a former aide to a major presidential campaign from the out-of-power party.

“As Nunes himself later admitted, the Bureau apparently did disclose in a footnote that the material was paid political research. It just didn’t mention who, precisely, had paid for it,” AP writes.  The memo reads, “in footnote 8, the FBI stated that the dossier information was compiled pursuant to the direction of a law firm that had hired an “identified US person” — now known as Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS…the application failed to disclose that the identities of Mr. Simpson’s ultimate clients were the Clinton campaign and the DNC.”  So the disclosure came in a footnote and didn’t mention that the parties who paid for the unverified dossier were the Trump campaign’s explicit opposition.  Maybe there was no misconduct in any of this, but even as someone who believes neither that suspicion of Carter Page was unreasonable, nor that this is all part of a grand anti-Trump conspiracy (remember, the Trump angle of the Russia probe started earlier, for an unrelated reason), there’s enough in the Grassley/Graham memo to make me uncomfortable with the standards by which Page was surveilled by the US government.

Read More:  https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2018/02/08/strassel-tweetstorm-grassley-memo-n2445871

Senate Judiciary Memo: Further Proof of Astounding Corruption

Nunes Intellegence Memo Grassley Judiciary Memo

Declassified Grassley Document Confirms FISA Memo’s Explosive Claims

  • declassified document from the Senate Judiciary Committee confirms that the FBI “relied heavily” on an unverified dossier in order to obtain FISA surveillance warrants on one-time Trump advisor Carter Page
  • Unredacted portions of the document reveal the FBI’s extensive involvement with the creator of the dossier, former UK spy Christopher Steele
  • Despite Steele lying to the FBI which led to the agency ending their relationship, they still used his unverified memo and vouched for his reputation to obtain the FISA warrants
  • The unredacted memo clarifies that the FBI notified the FISA court of the dossier’s political origins “to a vaguely limited extent”
  • The FBI has withheld the notes from their meetings with Steele
  • Steele received information for an unpublished second dossier from the Obama State Department led by John Kerry at the time
  • Much of the information in this “Grassley Memo” matches with the contents of the “Nunes Memo” released by the House Intelligence Committee last Friday.

largely unredacted version of a criminal referral made against Fusion GPS operative Christopher Steele reveals several new bombshells, and confirms that the FBI heavily relied on an unverified dossier created by the former UK spy – along with a Yahoo News article which used Steele’s information, to obtain a FISA surveillance warrant on one-time Trump advisor Carter Page.

The previously redacted sections of the document notably covered up the FBI’s extensive working relationship with Steele – who was paid $168,000 to create the dossier used in the FISA applications. The fact that he was considered reliable was used as an argument to the FISA court to make up for the fact that the underlying dossier was unverified.

….

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-07/declassified-grassley-document-confirms-fisa-memos-explosive-claims

Media and Dems Gaslight Americans About #RealeaseTheMemo

Okay, so if the memo is so innocent why not let the American people read it?

Why did Schiff and Feinstein petition Facebook and Twitter execs to shut down the #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag, because “it was being pushed by Russian bots?”

(Incidentally Twitter and Facebook responded that the hashtag was indeed being shared by actual Americans… like myself.)

Release the memo

Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe All Named In FISA Memo, First Leak Reveals

A bombshell four-page “FISA memo” alleging egregious surveillance abuse by the FBI, DOJ and Obama administration, specifically names FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to the Daily Beast.

The GOP-authored memo made waves last week after it was made available to the full House of Representatives for viewing. With over 60 GOP lawmakers calling for its release, Capitol Hill sources on both sides of the aisle tell The Daily Beast that it’s only a matter of time before the general public is allowed to view the document – which is likely to stoke already-inflamed tensions between GOP lawmakers and the individuals named in the leak.

Earlier this morning, I examined the classified, four-page memo from @HouseIntelComm regarding the FBI, DOJ, and the so-called . To put it simply, “WOW.” I joined the call to . Americans deserve truth and transparency.

The facts contained in the Republican majority-authored report are said to be “jaw-dropping and demand full transparency,” according to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), while the top ranking Democrat on the House Intel Committee, Adam Schiff (D-CA) dismissed the memo as “profoundly misleading” talking points drafted by Republican staffers.

Several other GOP Congressmembers have weighed in. “I have read the memo,” tweeted Rep. Steve King (R-IA), adding “The sickening reality has set in. I no longer hold out hope there is an innocent explanation for the information the public has seen. I have long said it is worse than Watergate. It was #neverTrump & #alwaysHillary. #releasethememo.”

Along with the four-page memo, Congressional investigators learned from a new batch of text messages between anti-Trump FBI investigators that several individuals within the Department of Justice and the FBI may have come together in the “immediate aftermath” of the 2016 election to undermine President Trump, according to Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) who has reviewed the texts.

This is particularly interesting since the memo allegedly names Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who created Robert Mueller’s special counsel after former FBI Director James Comey was fired.

 The thousands of texts @TGowdySC and I reviewed today revealed manifest bias among top FBI officials against @realDonaldTrump. The texts between Strzok and Page referenced a “secret society.” 

While the “secret society” reference may have been in jest (“Are you even going to give out your calendars? Seems kind of depressing. Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society,” Page wrote to Strzok), a whistleblower has allegedly confirmed the existence of clandestine, of high ranking U.S. intelligence officials which met “offsite” to conspire against a sitting President, according to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI).

we have an informant talking about a group holding secret meetings off-site,” Johnson said.

“We have to continue to dig into it,” he added. “This is not a distraction. This is biased, potentially corruption at the highest levels of the FBI.” –The Hill

On Monday night, Reps. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) and Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told Fox News what they had learned from the new batch of communications between FBI investigators Peter Strzok and Lisa Page – contained within a 384-page batch of text messages delivered to Congress from the DOJ last Friday. Of note Ratcliffe says that Strzok and Page were included in the clandestine anti-Trump cabal at the highest levels of the American intelligence community.

In response to the memo, Congressional Democrats led by Adam Schiff (D-CA) drafted a “counter-memo” to “correct the record” regarding alleged FISA abuse contained within the GOP memo.

.@RepAdamSchiff announces House Intel Dems have written their own counter-memo; will seek to make public, too. 

Schiff’s “counter-memo” came on the heels of an absurd letter written by Schiff and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to Facebook and Twitter executives, calling for the Social Media giants to combat “Russian bots” which were promoting the hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo.

NEW: Sen. Feinstein, Rep. Schiff urge Facebook and Twitter to investigate involvement of Russian bots in pushing “Release the Memo” campaign: “If these reports are accurate, we are witnessing an ongoing attack by the Russian government through Kremlin-linked social media actors.”

The letter’s claims were immediately shot down by Facebook, which told the Daily Beast that #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag has been pushed by actual Americans.

a knowledgeable source says that Twitter’s internal analysis has thus far found that authentic American accounts, and not Russian imposters or automated bots, are driving #ReleaseTheMemo. There are no preliminary indications that the Twitter activity either driving the hashtag or engaging with it is either predominantly Russian.

In short, according to this source, who would not speak to The Daily Beast for attribution, the retweets are coming from inside the country.