'Nunes memo' revelations prove the FBI makes up its own rules

'Nunes memo' revelations prove the FBI makes up its own rules
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It’s no coincidence that Democrats have gone apoplectic about the memo. It clearly shows that the FBI, under the direction of then-Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeySunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — Judiciary Democrats approve articles of impeachment setting up House vote next week Huckabee teases Hannity appearance, says he'll explain why Trump is eligible for third term MORE and Deputy Director Andy McCabe, presented paid political dirt to the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court in order to obtain warrants to spy on American citizens.

These are effectively Gestapo-like tactics. There is no other word for it. You can read the memo here.

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All the awesome, intrusive powers of the U.S. government’s intelligence apparatus were turned against U.S. citizens based the opposition research file of the political party then in power. And those powers were then directed against people in the opposition party, starting with Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page.

 

There also is no wonder why Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesDemocrats launch bilingual ad campaign off drug pricing bill Koch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill Hillicon Valley: Apple, Facebook defend encryption during Senate grilling | Tech legal shield makes it into trade deal | Impeachment controversy over phone records heats up | TikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings MORE (R-Calif.) and his staff tread so carefully in composing the memo to summarize highly-classified intelligence information about this unethical and compromising misuse of the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act.

Their factual rendition shows that the senior-most leadership of both the FBI and the Department of Justice misled the intelligence court about the origin of the opposition research and the author’s anti-Trump bias to obtain warrants to conduct surveillance on U.S. citizens associated with the Trump campaign, and later, the Trump transition team.

“Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Then- DAG (Deputy Attorney General) Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesBiden reveals four women he could pick as his running mate Merriam-Webster: A 200-year-old dictionary offers hot political takes on Twitter Sally Yates: Moral fiber of US being 'shredded by unapologetic racism' MORE, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Judge rules former WH counsel McGahn must testify under subpoena MORE each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DoJ,” the memo states.

The memo makes clear that from the get-go, the “essential” basis for making the application to the court to spy on American citizens was the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, and paid for in part by the Democratic National Committee.

It says that McCabe told the House Intelligence Committee in December that without the information from the Steele dossier, no surveillance warrant for Page would have been sought and, in September 2016, Steele admitted to deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr — another partisan Democrat — that he was “desperate that Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”

Ohr “recorded” that information, which was subsequently found in official FBI files. But it was “not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications,” the memo states.

In other words, both the Department of Justice, then controlled by Loretta Lynch and her deputy, Sally Yates, and the FBI, then run by Comey and McCabe, apparently found it perfectly normal that the source of the information they used to justify “probable cause” to the Court was a dedicated political enemy of candidate Donald Trump.

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Why did they find such an outrageous abuse of investigative protocol on the books to be perfectly normal? There can be only one reason: because they shared Christopher Steele’s belief.  

There’s another reason why the FBI was lobbying so hard to prevent the release of the memo: It calls into question the wisdom of allowing the U.S. government to ever turn its awesome surveillance powers against a U.S. citizen.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial Supreme Court takes up fight over Trump financial records Democrats approve two articles of impeachment against Trump in Judiciary vote MORE (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, to apologize for his efforts to cover up this disgraceful abuse by partisan Democrats of the intelligence community.

His latest effort has been to get Twitter and Facebook to remove accounts that used the hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo over the past few weeks. Schiff is so proud of himself over these tactics that he put out a press release commending himself, along with his letters to the social media companies.

No administration should be allowed to mis-use the intelligence community, or the surveillance court, in this manner. It’s the fastest way for us to become a police state — a fate America narrowly dodged in November 2016.

Kenneth R. Timmerman was the 2012 Republican Congressional nominee for MD-8 and is the author of "Deception: The Making of the YouTube Video Hillary & Obama Blamed for Benghazi," published by Post Hill Press.