Over the objections of the FBI, the Justice Department, and the intelligence community, President Trump has decided to declassify a Republican-concocted memo alleging bias against him in the Russia investigation.
The memo, championed by Rep. Devin Nunes, was first sent to conservative media outlets The Washington Examiner and Fox News, indicating just how partisan this whole ordeal is. The memo insists that the FBI used the so-called Steele dossier (aka the report about the pee tape) to argue in favor of surveillance against Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, who had already been on the FBI's radar since 2013. Nunes and co. are trying to argue that because the Pee Tape Dossier may (or may not) have been used to argue in favor of tracking Page to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the entire Russia probe that has already scored four indictments has no integrity.
People who were against the memo's release—Democrats, the FBI, the DoJ—argue that it's merely a set of cherry-picked facts designed to make federal investigators look bad, and that Nunes didn't even read the underlying classified material he's kvetching about.
Trump already seems to be using this document as a pretense to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the guy overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
Here are quick, important takes (some funny, some not!) on what could become a very important moment in American history.
If *anyone* working on the Trump investigation wanted to hurt Trump in 2016 they could have leaked details of the investigation. They did not. In fact, FBI sources went so far as to tell the Times there was no Russia connection!— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 2, 2018
(There *were* a number of anti-Clinton leaks)
And all this is, apparently, evidence that the FBI was engaged in a conspiracy to get Clinton elected?— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 2, 2018
Literally none of this makes any sense and it's an insult to everyone's intelligence.
And it's depressing as hell to watching smart people pretend to be this stupid.