My Team

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

(Cartoonist - Steve Breen)

In other news, the FBI Agents Association released a statement today blasting the Nunes Memo as "partisan politics."

Meanwhile, former FBI Director James Comey mocked the Nunes Memo by asking "that's it?"

Of course, Comey is a big reason why we're even in this situation.

Finally, the Nunes Memo claims outgoing deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe testified that the bureau would not have sought to renew the FISA warrant on Carter Page without the Steele dossier, but sources close to McCabe tell the Daily Beast that's not true.

“Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information,” the memo claims, referring to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Asked if that was a true representation, a source familiar with McCabe’s testimony responded: “100% not.”

A senior Democratic House intelligence committee official agreed.

I'm sure everyone is sick of hearing about this story by now, but the good news is I doubt we'll be talking it by Monday.

The shear volume of insanity that Trump vomits up virtually guarantees that we can't talk about any event for longer than a few days.

Have a good weekend.

  • Victor the Crab

    Of course, Comey is a big reason why we’re even in this situation.


  • Aynwrong

    The GOP is trying to create a scandal based on the type of blurb you would find on the back of a Tom Clancy novel.

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  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    In my opinion, by and large, the memo has the ring of truth to it. I’ll throw out that last paragraph which is mostly just red meat. But the rest of it is, if mildly biased, largely credible.

    It is not, in and of itself, particularly significant – a bit of a snoozer, to be honest – and way overblown by the Republicans who will spend the next decade harping on it as though it were the smoking gun of a massive deep state conspiracy.

    But I do feel that something bears mentioning as regards this memo. It is indicative of something we have all known for a long time. And that is that the judiciary does not act as a sufficient check on overzealous invasions into our privacy.

    Taking the memo at face value, we see the story, not of a political witch hunt, but overstepping bureaucrats presenting half-baked evidence to a court that – four times – rubber stamped a warrant that should not have been issued.

    I know that the memo is cherry picked. I know it’s biased. I know it doesn’t tell the whole story. But it does tell some of the story. From the warrantless wiretaps and meta-data collection of the Bush administration to whatever goes on behind closed doors today, it is evident that the government – writ large – does not take seriously your Fourth Amendment rights to be secure in your privacy.

    So, no, this memo is not important for what it says, or what Devin Nunes has played as. But it is huge in what it is a part of.

    And that’s not a Red-vs-Blue story. Or a “Deep State” conspiracy story. But a story of the quiet decay of our Constitutional Rights in modern America.

    In the words of former Vice President Joe Biden, that is a “big fucking deal.”

    • JMAshby

      The adviser, Carter Page, met with a Russian intelligence operative named Victor Podobnyy, who was later charged by the US government alongside two others for acting as unregistered agents of a foreign government. The charges, filed in January 2015, came after federal investigators busted a Russian spy ring that was seeking information on US sanctions as well as efforts to develop alternative energy. Page is an energy consultant.

      A court filing by the US government contains a transcript of a recorded conversation in which Podobnyy speaks with one of the other men busted in the spy ring, Igor Sporyshev, about trying to recruit someone identified as “Male-1.” BuzzFeed News has confirmed that “Male-1” is Page.

      Page confirmed to BuzzFeed News on Monday that he is “Male-1” in the court filing and said he had been in contact with Podobnyy, who was working at the time at Moscow’s UN office in New York City under diplomatic cover, although he was really an SVR agent. Pressed on details of his contact with Podobnyy, Page said their interactions did not include anything sensitive.

      Page was literally recruited by the Russians. The memo is about Carter Page.

      The memo doesn’t demonstrate anything you just said, and FBI agents doing their jobs are not “bureaucrats.”

      Your judgment that they used “half-baked” evidenced, which actually looks pretty ironclad, to obtain a “rubber stramped” warrant is based entirely on this “cherry picked” memo.

      No, this isn’t a Red-vs-Blue story, it’s a truth vs sensationalism story. You’re clear going with sensationalism.

      Here’s the process for actually obtaining a FISA warrant. It goes through a dozen different channels before it even reaches the court.

    • Badgerite

      As Ashby says, if there is an American citizen who is regularly in contact with Russian intelligence operatives and those operatives are talking about that person in communications to their bosses in the Kremlin as a possible intelligence asset that is a pretty clear case of probable cause. And the warrant would be renewed because those initial contact did not ebb but actually escalated with Page visiting Moscow and claiming at one point to be acting on behalf of the Kremlin. Of course the intelligence community is going to watch him. Duh.
      A bigger question is why did trump name this guy as one of his top five foreign policy advisers?