Even taken on its own terms, the Nunes memo does nothing that Trump claims. But it does show us something—with deep ramifications for the intelligence community, the Russia investigation and maybe even the presidencyby Calder Walton / February 7, 2018 / Leave a comment
Republicans on the US House Intelligence Committee have released their long-awaited memo, which, according to Fox News, contains the greatest constitutional abuse in modern times. Pundits on Fox claimed it would show there was a “Deep State” conspiracy at work, undermining the president and his supporters, and “prove” the Trump-Russia investigation is a fraud.
When the four-page memo was finally released last Friday after much fanfare, it was predictably a let-down—a “nothing burger,” to use Washington’s current vernacular. But on closer inspection, it is a nothing burger with a large amount of Russian dressing.
Far from undermining the validity of the Russia investigation into president Trump, as the White House hoped, the memo actually reveals the Russia investigation is wider, and independent, than the memo’s narrow claims. It is a spectacular own-goal for Republicans trying to undermine the Trump-Russia investigation.
The memo was driven through by the Republican Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, and declassified on the authorization of the president himself.
The Nunes memo, as it was known even before its release, attacks the “legitimacy and legality” of the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) during the 2016 presidential campaign and suggests a “troubling breakdown” of US legal order to protect abuses of spying on US citizens.