Well, they released the memo–what a dud! The Keystone Kops were an early 20th century comedic farce. Fox News, Breitbart, Jim Jordan, Paul Ryan and the star of the Keystone Konspirators–Devin “Oleg” Nunes (AKA, numbnuts), couldn’t even conspire sensibly after months of preparation!
As James Comey, former FBI director tweeted,
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.
Yes, months of preparation. The Konspirators have been attacking the Steele dossier for most of last year. They brought in Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS (that hired Steele) for 21 hours of testimony by House and Senate committees. Did that disprove any of the findings by Steele? NO! The research was initially funded by an unnamed REPUBLICAN (presidential primary?) opponent of Trump and only later by Democrats. The dossier, unlike the Konspirator’s memo, wasn’t a piece of fiction, it came from interviews with sources by Steele.
As you know by now, the memo alleged bias on Steele’s part–he was desperate that Trump lose. Why? As Glenn Simpson’s testimony revealed, it was because of what he found in his investigation–the amazing number of connections by Trump with Russian mafia, Russian officials and oligarchs, etc.
The memo stupidly alleges that the FISA warrant against Carter Page was based, if not exclusively, at least primarily on the dossier. No, it undoubtedly wasn’t–given that the FBI had been interested in Steele since 2013 when Russian agents attempted to recruit him–two of which fled when charges were filed in 2015 and one remained and was convicted.
The memo, even more stupidly, confirms that the entire counterintelligence investigation of the Russian intervention and the connection to the Trump campaign began in July of 2016. The FISA warrant against Carter Page came in October of 2016. Why in July? That’s when Australian intelligence officials alerted the US to George Papadopolous’s drunken comments to an Australian diplomat a few months later.
The memo, supposedly, is intended to serve as a pretext to fire Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General and Special Counsel Mueller’s boss. Rosenstein apparently signed off on one of the RENEWALS of the FISA warrant. Since Rosenstein wasn’t sworn in as DAG until April of 2017, he couldn’t have had anything to do with the original–only the SECOND renewal! The renewals are granted based not on the original application, but on what activity and evidence has been gleaned since. Yes, a Keystone Konspiracy.
More revealing, is that MSNBC showed tape of an appearance by Carter Page himself from October 2017, during which he expressed gladness that Paul Ryan would be releasing information on the “FISA warrant” and the “dodgy dossier.” So this memo had been in the works for some time AND to the knowledge of Page! So it’s not all just Nunes in the Keystone Konspirator Kadre, it’s Paul Ryan too!
As John McCain tweeted about the Konspirator’s actions,
The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s.
Both Steve Schmidt (Republican strategist) and Jonathon Alter (journalist and author) recently called those in the GOP attacking the FBI, the Justice Department and the US intelligence community “Banana Republicans.” (The term was used in 2004 as a book title by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton). An apt epithet–implying the creation of a banana republic–where a dictator controls law enforcement, the legislature and the news media. Trump isn’t quite there yet, but he’s trying and his Banana Republican friends are doing the best to make it happen.
James Comey also recently tweeted,
American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up. Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy.
Senator Joe McCarthy was eventually censured by the US Senate and died in disgrace after a few years of claiming that Communists could be found everywhere in the US government. During the early to mid-fifties, McCarthy held a series of hearings on his claims, during the height of the Cold War. His chief counsel was Roy Cohn. Years, later, despite the association with McCarthy, Cohn became a fixer and power broker in New York City. He also became Donald Trump’s mentor and person attorney for some number of years in the 1970s and early 80s. Cohn did have his own legal problems and was disbarred in 1986, shortly before dying of AIDs.
In the spring of 2017, after AG Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation, Trump reportedly called out, “Where’s my Roy Cohn.” Trump learned at the hands of a master manipulator in fighting back hard when attacked. Perhaps we should read between the lines of Comey’s comments about McCarthy?
Eventually, we can hope that Trump and many current and former members of his administration will be indicted and spend time in jail. It’s entirely possible that some of the Keystone Konspirators and the Banana Republicans will join them. Quite likely in numbers exceeding the members of the Nixon administration in the aftermath of Watergate.
Money laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy with foreign powers to subvert the American democracy are craven and reprehensible offenses. Perhaps “reprehensibles” should replace the Clinton term “deplorables” to describe Trump supporters–at least the ones that exert the power of office or media to destroy American institutions in support of Trump’s Banana Republic.