Political Scorecard: the Nunes Memo

(Note: This is post is more of a work in progress. My rationale is that if I don’t post this soon, I never will, and I do want to test the idea out–an idea I mentioned briefly in this post. Think of it as a beta-test; or maybe watching me build a house in front of everyone, while hopefully getting some help from those watching. Also, not that I have to tell you this, but please take what I say with a grain of salt. There could be errors, here. Indeed, if you guys notice them let me know, particularly any factual errors or other significant inaccuracies.)

This scorecard will focus on Rep. Devin Nunes’s memo. Score will be kept about the claims made by the memo, as well as counter-claims. I’ll also keep score on the people making the claims. Here are brief summaries of the two main claims:

The Nunes Side:

  • My understanding is that Rep. Nunes has found that DOJ/FBI have improperly got FISA warrant to set up surveillance on Carter Page.
    The claim is that Christopher Steele’s dossier was the primary reason for this. The claim is that FBI/DOJ(?) didn’t give background information about Steele dossier, namely that Steele hired by Fusion GPS, who was hired by DNC to do opposition research on Trump. (Fusion GPS actually initiated the research from a conservative group during GOP primary.)
    The contention is that the memo will reveal serious misconduct and perhaps show politicization of the Russia investigation.
    Nunes did make changes to the memo, after it was voted on to be made public, but Nunes claims the changes were minor (grammatical type of changes.
  • The Schiff Side:

  • My understanding is that Rep. Schiff believes the memo is baseless and also dangerous–in that it can expose classified information and possibly sources and methods of gathering that information;
    Schiff says the memo is undermining the trust between Congress and the intelligence community;
    Democrats have also written a memo to debunk the Nunes memo, but as far as I know the HPSCI hasn’t allowed its release.
    FBI and DOJ have said the oppose the release of the memo.
    Rep. Schiff claims that Nunes changed the memo after it was voted on to be released. In other words, the memo sent to the WH is different from the one the committee voted on releasing.
  • Some important facts and information

    Definition: FISA = Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. From the little I understand, this is the law that allows and sets up procedures for how US government will conduct surveillance against foreign or domestic enemies. The standard for surveiling a U.S. citizen (USPER) is higher.

    Here’s a good thread that covers some of the process to extend a FISA warrant(?), including comments on details regarding to Carter Page situation:

    I believe US IC started monitoring Page in 2013. There are reports that they warned Page that Russian spies may be trying to turn him into an asset. Page kept meeting with suspected Russian spies after.

    I’m going to include a section about what some individuals have said about the memo. If the memo is released, we can look back and evaluate these statements.

    Paul Ryan

    John Kelly (Chief of Staff)

    Not sure if the above is true, but if it is, Kelly is really put his reputation on the line, here.

    Consequences

    (If Trump, Nunes correct, et al.,)

    DOJ/FBI/IC inappropriately spying on Americans.
    Politicizing DOJ/FBI–investigating Trump to try and take him down

    (If Schiff, et al., correct)

    References

    From Just Security Five Questions the Nunes Memo Better Answer

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