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February 01, 2018

Monica Crowley: The FISA Abuse Memo is Just the First Strike; Expect More Down the Road

I hear this too.

That said, David Harsyani's advice is well-offered: Take the memo seriously, but be careful about getting over-excited about it. This is only a four-page memo, containing some assertions and claims about what evidence says, but no evidence. And I have to stress -- it's only four pages. How much could be in there?

We already pretty much know some of what's in there, so this won't be any kind of new surprise:

We almost completely know, almost to a certainty, that yes, the FBI used the Steele oppo dump as part of the FISA application. But we already knew that, based upon a fucking year of the FBI and DOJ refusing to answer congressional oversight committees about that.

We know that Rod Rosenstein applied for, or authorized the application for, an extension of the FISA spying based on this dossier. No, he wasn't there when the FISA application was first sought and granted, but he was the guy who signed the motions for extension.

And we know, or we pretty much nearly 100% know, that Rod Rosenstein knew all about the shady origins of this document he was relying on for surveillance orders, and knew this was essentially a Democrat/FusionGPS intelligence op from the start, but he kept seeking reauthorization anyway -- while meanwhile refusing to answer questions from the rightful, lawful oversight committees in Congress about his behavior and what the FBI and DOJ knew (and when they knew it).

So in a four page memo, we already know -- or pretty much nearly know -- thre of the big revelations.

Will there be more? Probably. But don't expect this to expose all aspects of Deep State operations -- remember, this is only about FISA abuses -- and don't expect any evidence for these claims.

That might come later, but it won't be in this brief memo.

And speaking of Rod Rosenstein-- yesterday I attacked CNN's big story (based on another FBI/DOJ leak, of course) that Trump had asked Rod Rosenstein if he was "on my team."

I noted that even Hillary Partisan Mike Morrell, former deputy director of the CIA, has regrets about "going political" against the president -- all those leaks caused Trump to quite justifiably distrust his intel people (and his DOJ people too, one presumes).

But there's an even better reply to this leak.

CNN didn't tell you why Rosenstein was visiting Trump, or what Rosenstein had asked about to elicit the "are you on my side?" response.

And it's a doozy: Rosenstein was visiting Trump to beg him to help him fight off Congressional document requests about Deep State operatives acting against Trump.

The context was that Rosenstein shuffled over to the WH to ask for Trump's help in "fighting off" oversight from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and the House Intelligence Committee. Seems like a shifty request since it is HPSCI's job to provide this oversight. The DOJ/FBI have been notoriously uncooperative with the HPSCI. The media "reports" are curiously silent on the FBI/DOJ's resistance to having accountability. Better headline: Rosenstein asks Trump to assist in obstructing oversight of DOJ.

Now, consider this from Trump's perspective: He's faced nothing but illegal leaks from the DOJ and intelligence agencies, and he sees Congress trying to get to the bottom of this, sending questions and subpeonas to the DOJ to find out what they knew about, for example, the Steele dossier that Hillary Clinton commissioned.

Rosenstein's asking him "Please help us continue to conceal how #TheResistance is fighting you."

Trump at that point has a perfectly rational question: Who's side are you on, exactly?

Because you sure seem to be on The Other Side, buddy.

Funny how that didn't make it into the leak!

Oh, and the Morning Briefing adds this great point:

"Of course, we're all on your team, Mr. President," Rosenstein told Trump according to CNN's leakers.

Now, under oath in Congressional testimony Rosenstein said that "nobody has asked me to take a loyalty pledge, other than the oath of office," and that he had been given no untoward "orders."

It didn't seem like Rosenstein himself thought he was being given a loyalty oath, contra CNN leak.

Finally, speaking of Ron Rosenstein and his begging entreaties to not #ReleaseTheMemo: Andrew Napolitano recently noted that there are two main reasons intelligence and law enforcement agencies might attempt to keep information secret:

1. The information may threaten national security by exposing sources and methods, and

2. The information will embarrass the agency and damage the prospects of higher-ranking agency officials to get promoted.

And Napolitano suggested that Reason Number Two was usually the most important reason in these fights.

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posted by Ace at 02:55 PM

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