Analyzing the FBI Memo Against the Hype

The big news this week is the “FBI Memo.”  You can read it here. Reality Dispatch isn’t going to pretend to out-investigate the various investigators.  But we can analyze what the various sides said would be in the memo and what turned out.

The Reality Dispatch is that the memo may not fully live up to the hype, nor does it exonerate Trump, but it isn’t the security risk nor does it have the out-of-context lies that the Democrats claimed.

What Does The Memo Say? (Short Version)

Again, you can read it here.

Short version: The FBI and DOJ used a source (Steele) that legally didn’t meet the requirements for basing a warrant on, and they lied about it.  Therefore the warrants were illegally obtained and any evidence and/or investigation based on them should be thrown out.

That’s a legally sound argument, and one that Democrats would make against police in many cities, but not one they’re sympathetic to here.

What the memo does not say is that Trump is innocent.  That’s not part of it.

The Memo in Eleven Points

  1. A two-page introduction letter, stating that it can be released and why.  This is not part of the memo, but accompanies and precedes it.
  2. “Purpose” – What it’s about (The FBI and DOJ using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for the investigation.
  3. “Investigation Update” – The history starting on 21-Oct-2016.  This focused on the FISA warrants against Carter Page.
  4. FISA warrants must be renewed every 90 days, because they are for foreign surveillance.  (i.e. not meant to be used against Americans inside America.)
  5. The FISA warrants were based on a discredited “dossier”, the Steele Dossier, which we reported on in October.
  6. Steele was paid over $160,000 by the DNC (Democrats) and the Clinton Campaign.  The FBI used Steele’s report, and knew who had paid for the information, but didn’t disclose this.
    • That’s the big smoking gun… The FBI must have known and has acknowledged knowing, but didn’t disclose this.

This takes us halfway down page 2, to Section 2 of the Investigation Update.

  1. The FISA warrant against Carter Page also cited a news article based on data Steele leaked directly… but denies it in the application.  Steele has since admitted this, and the law firm knew it.
    • This is another big smoking gun… using the same source twice, without acknowledging it and pretending it’s collaborating, is pretty bad.
  2. The FBI later suspended (and then terminated) Steele as a source for leaking to a different media source.   By then he had been used to justify the warrants.
  3. Before all of thisin September 2016, Steele told “then Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr” of the DOJ that he was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”  Ohr recorded this into the FBI files… but it was not mentioned in the FISA warrant applications.
    • Yes, that’s yet a third big deal.  The FBI relied on a guy who lied, who was paid by the opposition and who was openly passionate to prevent Trump from becoming President, and the FBI hid and lied about it.
  4. The FBI determined that the Steele Dossier was only “minimally corroborated.”  Comey called it “salacious and unverified”  and Deputy Director McCabe testified in December 2017 that without that dossier, no FISA warrant would have been requested.
    • This is the big legal point… if the warrant was illegally obtained… and if all of the above is true, which it was… then all evidence obtained from it must be thrown out.  Which would mean no case and no investigation.
  5. The memo closes a review of the Strzok/(Lisa) Page affair and messages, which we’ve covered in depth here.

That’s it.  That’s all the memo states.

Democrat Prognostications

Republican Prognostications

 

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