On February 2, Devin Nunes (Rep. from California) released a memo written by Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee which they claim highlights abuses by the officials in the FBI in order to obtain FISA warrants to monitor Carter Page who is a former advisor to President Trump. The purpose is to show that these abuses are indicative of corruption in the way investigators are carrying out their mission – and to imply that the special investigation by Robert Mueller is thus tainted and illegal. You can read Nunes’s 3 ½-page memo here, as well as the 2-page letter from the President’s White House lawyer – which explains the decision by President Trump to declassify and release Nunes’s memo on Friday, February 2. The House Intelligence Committee has so far refused to release the Democrat-written version of the committee’s findings.
This post (Part#1 about the Nunes Memo) shows responses to the Nunes memo from prominent Republicans. The comments show that not all Republicans agree with the President on what this memo shows; some are luke-warm, other more passionate. I will appreciate your feedback and predictions on where you think this matter is going.
My comments below are in regular type while the comments of others are in bold type and are included in “quotes.”
The President’s response was swift and, as usual, hyperbolic. He attacks the Russian Interference Investigation and declares the memo exonerates him from charges of Russian collusion and obstruction of justice. Note he refers to himself in the third person – “Trump.”
“This memo totally vindicates ““Trump”” in probe, But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. There was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!”
Former FBI Director Jim Comey who was fired by President Trump last year had this to say about Nunes’s memo:
“That’s it? Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen. For what? DOJ & FBI must keep doing their jobs.”
This excerpt from Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary, shows agreement with the memo, but is less strident than the president’s response – and does not mention the Russian Investigation:
“The memorandum raises serious concerns about the integrity of decisions made at the highest levels of the Department of Justice and the FBI to use the Government’s most intrusive surveillance tools against American citizens.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan is more circumspect in his response on Saturday and says the memo does not impugn special investigation.
“The memo was merely about the oversight of a very few potentially bad actors in the FBI and Justice Department. It does not impugn the Mueller investigation or the deputy attorney general.”
Trey Gowdy, Rep. from SC, says he was involved in the writing of the Nunes memo and that it has nothing to do with the Robert Mueller’s investigation:
“As I have said repeatedly, I also remain 100 percent confident in Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The contents of this memo do not – in any way – discredit his investigation.”
“I was pretty integrally involved in the drafting of it. There is a Russia investigation without a dossier. So to the extent the memo deals with the dossier and the FISA process, the dossier has nothing to do with the meeting at Trump Tower.”
This excerpt is from Senator John McCain’s (Senator from Arizona) response to the Nunes memo is highly critical of what he sees as an attempt by the president and Nunes to undermine the Mueller investigation He starts out by discussing the Russian government’ s attempts to interfere with the US election in 2016, a claim that President Trump insists is a hoax and a lie. These are harsh words from a true American Patriot about a president who has never admitted that Russian meddling is real or that Vladimir Putin of Russian is anything but a great leader and upstanding man.
“In 2016, the Russian government engaged in an elaborate plot to interfere in an American election and undermine our democracy. Russia employed the same tactics it has used to influence elections around the world, from France and Germany to Ukraine, Montenegro, and beyond. Putin’s regime launched cyberattacks and spread disinformation with the goal of sowing chaos and weakening faith in our institutions. And while we have no evidence that these efforts affected the outcome of our election, I fear they are succeeded in fueling political discord and dividing us from one another.
The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s. The American people deserve to know all of the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded. Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.”