Russia

FBI Director Opposes Release of the Nunes Memo

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

We know the Nunes memo that purportedly reveals some kind of conspiracy at the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is full of holes and lies, but you don't have to take our word for it.

Bloomberg first reported this morning that FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was appointed by Trump, told the White House that the memo is bullshit.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told the White House he opposes release of a classified Republican memo alleging bias at the FBI and Justice Department because it contains inaccurate information and paints a false narrative, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The FBI isn’t included in the inter-agency review process led by the White House aimed at deciding whether -- and how much of -- the memo can be made public. Wray was allowed to read the memo on Sunday.

The Justice Department has also advised Congress and the White House that it should remain classified, but I don't think Trump gives two shits about that.

The only thing that matters to Trump is his personal vanity and I don't expect advice from the top law enforcement officials in the country will make a lick of difference.

We know who and what Trump is, but I want to take a moment to talk about why Justice Department officials and the FBI director oppose releasing the memo.

It's not just that the memo may wrongfully implicate agents or officials in some kind of conspiracy theory. The memo could undermine the entire Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the FISA court which approves FISA warrants. It could undermine ongoing investigations and investigations that haven't even begun yet. It could undermine future efforts to obtain warrants on foreign agents.

There's an inescapable parallel here to former NSA contractor and defector Edward Snowden who told the world many fantastical things about surveillance that simply weren't true. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is painting an equally misleading picture of intelligence gathering on Americans acting as foreign agents. In this case, Carter Page.

Snowden claimed federal authorities routinely spy on Americans without a warrant. Devin Nunes wants you to believe officials responsible for obtaining warrants are corrupt.

This may be another topic for another day, but I think there may not be a Devin Nunes if Snowden didn't come first. I don't think there would be a special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election if Snowden didn't come first. Trump may not even be president if Snowden didn't come first.

Update... the FBI has also issued rare public statement:


  • Badgerite

    John Aravosis has noted that trump has laid off of the twitters. For 4 days, I think he said. Someone surely told him that he had better shape up because if not, and his crap results in the Dem. taking the House in a blue wave, impeachment is certain. Hearings up the kazoo. And truth. Truth to trump is like light to a vampire. He’d shrivel. And his family will shrivel. The GOP strategy is to coast on the Obama economy and military strategy with respect to ISIS and good will that still resides in the world toward the US with our allies because of him. Phony as shit. That’s the GOP.

  • Badgerite

    Oh Myyyy!
    Retweeted by John Aravosis:
    David Wright@DavidWright_CNN
    Interesting remarks from @RepMikeQuigley re: Nunes memo & possible coordination with the White House
    “So I asked the chairman (Nunes), did he work with – and I asked all the preliminaries – you know, coordinate, discuss, and he, and he said, “not to my knowledge.” I asked him, did your staff? And he became quite agitated and said, “I’m not answering that.”
    “I think I took Nunes off guard, with all due respect, if that’s possible at this point in time. I think he was rattled. I’m not sure he was answering the first question candidly and I think it was brought home when I specifically mentioned his staff.
    Hmmmm. So Nunes refused to answer if he or his staff coordinated or discussed the memo with anyone. Like, say ,the White House. Hmmmmm. Shady stuff. Kind of like last time with his dead of night visit to the White House. Hmmm.

    • muselet

      –alopecia

      • Badgerite

        Exactly.

  • Badgerite

    John Aravosis@aravosis
    trump leaked classified information to the Russian in the Oval Office, just cuz. Anyone who doesn’t think he will leak the Nunes memo when trump is trying to kill the Mueller probe, is nuts.
    And:
    trump already admitted he plans to release the Nunes memo, even though his staff has yet to review it. That means trump’s decision isn’t based on national security, it’s based on politics – based on trump wanting the memo to undercut Mueller. And that’s obstruction of justice.

  • Draxiar

    Let’s not forget that the release of Democrats memo was suppressed until a later date.

  • Badgerite

    When Greenwald and company attack Rachel Maddow as engaging in McCarthyism what they display is an absolute ignorance of who Joe McCarthy actually went after and why. McCarthy didn’t just go after people who might have had leftist leanings or sympathy for the underlying rational of communism. McCarthy, and his aides Roy Cohn and G. David Schine, did little actual research or investigation before making accusations. Roy Cohn and his then boyfriend G.David Schine once went on a taxpayer funded junket to Europe with the stated purpose of investigations pertaining to the House UnAmerican Acitivities Committee and did nothing but stay in the best hotels, party and sight see while there. In order to have something to justify the trip they attacked people working for the Voice of America in Europe. Based, of course, on nothing more than convenience. McCarthyism was a phony side show. And when they ran out of people who could be said to have had any contacts with or sympathies for leftist politics, they went after anyone. Even the
    U. S. Army towards the end. You know, the one that had just won WWII. This was too much for Ike. And it brought about McCarthy’s downfall as much as anything.
    The true inheritors of the tradition of McCarthism that really existed, rather than the myth, are Paul Ryan and Devin Nunes.
    They are doing just exactly what Joe McCarthy did. McCarthy did it for status and attention. God only knows with Ryan and Nunes but according the Malcolm Nance what they are proposing to do by the release of this memo is pretty much tell everyone in the world what methods the FBI and our intelligence services use to collect intelligence to keep this country safe. If the methods are known, surveillance can be avoided. By everyone. That includes criminals and terrorists and hostile foreign states.
    This is so irresponsible it is tantamount to McCarthyism.

    • Aynwrong

      Well said, and Greenwald is either a cynical liar or a fucking twit.

      • Badgerite

        I don’t pay that much attention to Greenwald because he has always seemed to me so selective in his accusations and depictions of civilian casualties and everything else really that I just don’t bother. And he does this from the safe preserve of wealth and privilege in Rio for God’s sake. For my money, he undervalues the United States and the liberal values it has championed in the world. What’s more, his reporting on Snowden was crap. Anyone who knows FISA statute or can read the FISA statute knows that Snowden’s ‘revelations’ were not revelations at all and were highly misleading as to what was actually going on with the NSA and the law. He supports Snowden and, worse even, Assange who both support trump. And speaking of ‘cognitive dissonance’, the change in the State Department posture under trump has been devastating to minorities such as the Rohingya and to journalists all over the world. The championing of those liberal values matters to people on the ground. And it matters that it comes from a country economically and militarily powerful such as the US.
        We fall short, of course. Welcome to the world. America began with a declaration of the rights of man, while engaged in human bondage to serve labor needs. But we didn’t stay that way. And that is the point. The aspirations matter and the championing of those aspiration of the rights of man matter as well. What he calls, ‘cognitive dissonance’, I call life.
        Cognitive dissonance indeed. He lives in a gated condo in Rio and lectures us in the US about, well, everything. The movement for gay rights started in the United States. Harvey Milk, an American, gave his life for those rights. And the Democratic party, which he seems bent on trying to destroy, have embraced them and championed them here and abroad. “Twit” is being kind.

  • muselet

    Devin Nunes is willing—nay, eager—to release classified information (and lie about that information), and compromise law enforcement and the intelligence community in order to get Donald Trump out of his legal problems.

    How noble. How patriotic.

    What an embarrassing little man.

    –alopecia

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