Wednesday, February 7, 2018

If Mollie Hemingway would READ, she might not look like such a nitwit

Mollie Hemingway
Today's eureka from Mollie Hemingway is titled: “NEW: Criminal Referral Confirms Nunes Memo’s Explosive Claims Of FISA Abuse.” It requires great restraint not to assign a gratuitous middle name to Ms. Hemingway who has a grossly overrated intellect. The fact that Nunes and Trump are also idiots makes this all very depressing.

First of all, there is nothing new about this. It was a political stunt and the memo is dated January 4, 2018. Secondly, Grassley and Graham are asking for an investigation into potential violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, claiming that Christopher Steele made misstatements to the FBI. This does not correlate to misconduct by the FBI, let alone abuses.

This is all based on some supposedly conflicting information that Steele provided a London court vs. what he supposedly told the FBI (which we do not know). When asked why the FBI included information from Steele in the FISC request for a FISA warrant to surveil Carter Page, then Director Comey said that Steele had been a reliable source in the past. Therefore, the warrant was obtained in good faith and was not, as Hemingway claims, abusive.

When the FBI submitted and  application for renewal of the warrant was submitted, the FBI informed the FISC that the FBI had suspended its relationship with Steele because of unauthorized press contacts. See page 4 of the Grassley-Graham memo, first paragraph. This directly undercuts the false assertion by Nunes that the FISC was not informed.

As an aside, retired law professor David Post has an outstanding piece detailing Nunes' abject stupidity. It is a great read.

More importantly, Grassley and Graham are not accusing Steele of misrepresenting the underlying facts in the dossier but whether or not he was truthful with the FBI regarding disclosures to the press. They are basing this on briefings that Fusion GPS and Steele gave to some of the press in October, 2016 and a piece written for Yahoo by Michael Isikoff. Again, none of this challenges the accuracy of the Steele dossier. As for those press briefings, we do not really know what Steele disclosed.

Furthermore, as the Washington Post points out:
In reality, the article was not “derived” from Steele. Isikoff, citing “multiple sources,” reported that U.S. intelligence officials had briefed senior members of Congress on Page's activities in Russia. Isikoff cited a “congressional source familiar with the briefings” to report that “some of those briefed were 'taken aback' when they learned about Page's contacts in Moscow, viewing them as a possible back channel to the Russians that could undercut U.S. foreign policy.”
Furthermore, we do not know what Steele told the FBI. Neither do the authors of the memo. See footnote 7 on page 3. Rather, Grassley and Graham relied on what the FBI asserted to the FISC. Unfortunately, between pages three and four there is a redaction which prohibits me and Ms. Mollie from fully evaluating what the FBI told the FISC.

Overall, Grassley and Graham were challenging Steele's credibility in order to undercut the effect of the dossier that he authored. Steele might have even lied to the FBI about his press contacts and that still has no direct effect on the information that he compiled. Furthermore, it appears that the FBI acted in good faith. I would need to read the redacted portion to fully understand the matter.

What this is really about is somehow to discredit Bob Mueller's investigation.

The two things simply do not connect. Neither timing nor logic cooperate with the intense desire to prop up Trump. Mueller had nothing to do with the FISA warrant for Carter Page who, according to the FBI, had been on their radar for years and the renewals of the warrants had to be based upon the warrants bearing fruit. Page might be indicted for operating as an unregistered foreign agent. What the GOPers are terrified of is corroboration of information that was in Steele's dossier. They are trying to ding Steele's overall credibility.

Grassley and Graham's memo was a preemptive strike against the dossier. Mollie Hemingway's conclusions are a preemptive strike against vulnerable brain cells.

Related content:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be civil and do NOT link to anti-gay sites!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.