Friday, February 2, 2018

The Nune's memo - Wheres the beef? A former LEO's perspective

So today we got the major drop of the Nunes memo.  This is the memo where Devin Nunes accuses the FBI and DOJ of targeting Trump and being politically motivated in the Russia investigation.  He targets the FISA warrant that was  issued for Carter Page .  Now I have heard other so called "law enforcement professionals" commentate that anyone can get a warrant issued.  Yes you can.  But you cannot get a FISA warrant issued that easily.  For a FISA warrant to be issued you have to demonstrate to a judge that there is a national security threat or crime against the United States. 

Before we get to the FISA warrant lets go ahead and go over "political" motivations.  I think thats important to put into perspective.

  • James Comey - lifelong Republican - Also accused by Democrats and some media outlets of costing Hillary Clinton the election.
  • Robert Mueller - Republican
  • Rod Rosenstein - Republican - Trump appointee
  • Christopher Wray - Republican - Trump appointee

So by normal standards the DOJ and FBI should be trying to prove that Trump is not responsible for any collusion between his campaign and Russia.

So lets go over some of the points of the memo and I will tell you the relevancy of each point.

Christopher Steele hated Trump and had a bias towards Trump - irrelevant - Steele is an informant and law enforcement relies on informants and CI's, confidential informants, and what information they offer.  We dont ask if they like the guy that they are giving us information on, we dont ask if they have a political bias.

The FBI used the Steele Dossier to obtain a FISA warrant - Mixed - If they used JUST the dossier I would be alarmed but knowing the FBI and having been involved in investigations they didn't do that.  Look, the FBI is a credible law enforcement agency, they have top notch investigators.  Thats why when someone says the FBI is investigating you, you get a lawyer.  Don't pass go, don't try to reason with the FBI you get a lawyer.  The FBI or any credible investigator would NOT go to a judge for a FISA warrant on hearsay, that is what a Dossier is.  Hearsay means someone's word.  A Dossier is a personal account of facts and a timeline of when critical events occurred.  A Dossier in this case is used to establish whether something occurred, when it occurred and should it be looked into.  Remember, they had been investigating Carter Page since 2013 two years before Trumps campaign and a full year before the Republicans paid Fusion GPS to uncover dirt on Trump for the primaries.  They probably had enough to get the FISA warrant without it but used the Dossier as icing on the cake.  The question is here would any competent investigator use the Dossier to obtain the warrant?  Absolutely.  By the time they went before a judge they already had a mountain of evidence anyway and the Dossier just serves that they were able to verify some facts within it.

The Democrats paid for the Dossier - Irrelevant - As I stated before to say that they used only the Dossier is ludicrous at best, laughable at worst.  By the time they went before a judge the case has been made.  Now they could have told the judge that the Dossier was obtained as part of opposition research for political purposes but its up to the JUDGE, not the Republicans nor the Democrats, whether he wants to preclude the Dossier from consideration.  As with any proceeding its up to the judge to decide whats admissible or inadmissible in any proceeding.  In my opinion, the judge probably paid very little attention to the Dossier but more on the actual evidence nor do I feel the FBI would take something to a judge that can be shred apart easily when it came to prosecuting a case in court.

Some FBI agents had a political bias towards Trump - Irrelevant - Everyone is allowed to have a political bias.  When it gets in the way is if it kept these agents from doing their jobs and doing that job impartially.  If they cant do that job impartially they can ask to be removed from that case.  Pete Strzok the agent who was dismissed from Muellers team also investigated Clinton and was also in charge when the e-mail case was re-opened on October 28, 2016

The rest of the memo is a nothing burger and does not demonstrate the rest of the evidence that was used to get the FISA warrant.  The claims inside of it are largely unverified or misrepresented according to some Republicans familiar with the case.  The only thing this did was stroke the ego of Trump and of Trumps base but offered very little in substance that the FBI and the DOJ did anything wrong, illegal or questionable.  Not to mention Trump and his administration risk upsetting the FISA courts and if he thought Trump tower was bugged.  Anger a FISA judge.  If Trump and his allies are so confident that this memo is accurate and holds water why is he refusing to de-classify the Democrats memo?  If the Nunes memo is accurate and factual shouldnt the Democrats memo corroborate it?

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