Thoughts on the #Memo

I read the Memo, and you can, too. Here are my thoughts:

It mainly asserts that the Steele dossier was material in the attainment of four FISA warrants, but the court was not told where the information came from (ie, opposition research) or that at the time it was used the FBI and DOJ considered it only “minimally validated”. This, if true, could constitute a ‘fraud upon the court’.

Democrats argue that it’s deceptive because Carter Page was already under surveillance. But, If he was already under surveillance, for reasons considered valid by some previous FISC ruling, then there would have been no reason to use the dossier to obtain further surveillance authority. Knowingly introducing fraudulent evidence in court is a crime, full stop. It doesn’t matter why the FBI first became interested in Page. It matters what they knowingly presented to the court.

Plus, the memo obviously doesn’t reveal any ‘sources and methods’. So, as usual, the whole ‘national security’ complaint was bullshit. Which leaves the question: why, if this is all a debunked conspiracy theory, did the Democrats, the FBI and the DOJ work so hard to keep it hidden? If it’s all bullshit, best thing is to let the Republicans hang themselves.

Having read the memo, I say it’s certainly not a bombshell in the obvious sense, as the crime it alleges is a bit subtle, and already widely suspected. It’s not a laundry list of many crimes, but mostly a single idea, which if true would put some people (Comey, McCabe, etc) in legal jeopardy. I don’t see it changing any minds.

The deep question, I think, is not political, but legal. If Carter Page already was under surveillance for legally sufficient reasons (as determined by some prior FISC), why introduce the speculations of the Steele dossier at all – let alone, introduce them without telling the court where they came from or how little they’d been validated?

If that premise is real, the Mueller investigation is in trouble. If it’s not, the Republicans have shot themselves in both feet.

I might add that it’s possible for Mueller to find something and for these people to be guilty of having knowingly perpetrated a fraud on the FISA court.

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