After all of the fanfare about whether the House Intelligence Committee Memo should have been released, we can now see what the fuss was about. In my view, the memo outlines a significant amount of serious government wrongdoing by the FBI and the Department of Justice.
But while the allegations of wrongdoing in the Memo are serious, it is hard for anyone following the matter not to ponder what a small percentage of the apparent misconduct this Memo details.
This Memo ignores so much, including the the fake investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email practices and the large scale unmaskings committed by the Obama administration. While there is no way to know for sure at this point, when this other wrongdoing is added to the picture, it is likely that we will have a situation of overwhelming partisan corruption conducted by the executive branch.
For now, what we have is the House Intelligence Committee Memo, and that is pretty serious. What does it charge?
The most important aspect of this investigation is easy to overlook. An administration of one party ran several investigations of the other party during a political campaign (while at the same time running a phony investigation of the candidate from its own party). This is an extremely sensitive situation. Such an investigation should be conducted in a scrupulous way. That is not what happened.
Instead, at least one aspect of the investigation—the application and reapplication for the FISA warrant—was conducted in partisan way that involved serious misconduct. The warrant would never have been sought without the dossier information. Yet, the information in the dossier was not corroborated (being at most “minimally corroborated”). In fact, the dossier information was the result of an investigation paid for by the Clinton campaign. The principal person responsible for the dossier, Christopher Steele, had admitted to strong bias against Trump becoming President, saying that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” Moreover, Steele was terminated as an FBI source for violating FBI rules. Still, and most importantly, none of this evidence of partisanship was supplied to the FISA court. Significantly, the failure to supply this information occurred not only in the first application, but in three more FISA renewals.
One could go on about the people involved in the application for the FISA warrant. They read like a who’s who of DOJ/FBI anti-Trump officials. The applications for the warrant were signed by the FBI’s then-Director James Comey, then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
Accepting as true the information contained in the memo, what do we have? An investigation of the political campaign of the other political party by the party in government that failed to follow the proper rules for such investigations. Governmental power of this type—which is exercised in secret—is subject to serious abuse. We know that. We appear to have evidence that such abuse occurred in this case. And it appears to be only the beginning.