The Democratic memo about the Russia investigation, explained

The House GOP Intelligence committee has finally released the Democratic memo about Trump’s collusion with Russia, Carter Page, and the Steele (aka Pee Pee) memo. Let’s pull out some of the good stuff.

The Dem memo confirms that “the FBI assessed [Trump campaign top foreign policy aide Carter Page] to be an agent of the Russian government.”

That doesn’t sound good.

The FBI did not use Steele’s dossier as justification for beginning the Russia probe, which started in July 2016. The FBI didn’t get Steele’s memo until mid-September, 7 weeks AFTER the probe was begun.

The initial FISA warrant to spy on Page was granted by a GOP-appointed judge, and then renewed by 3 different judges — four different federal judges in total — all appointed by GOP presidents. They were Republican judges who approved spying on Page.

Page had already left the Trump campaign by the time the FBI got the warrant to eavesdrop on him. So there was not tapping of the Trump campaign.

The FBI corroborated parts of the Steele dossier, and presented that to the FISA court, but that’s such a secret it got blacked out in the memo. Oh yeah, and the evidence corroborating Steele contradicts what Carter Page told the House Intelligence Committee.

As we suspected, the FISA court renewed the wiretap on Carter Page 4 times because it kept yielding useful information. The info was so useful that it got censored from the Democratic memo.

Devin Nunes lied. The FBI told the FISA court all about Steele, and that the memo was paid for by people who wanted “to discredit” Trump’s campaign. And DOJ never paid Steele for the dossier — Nunes lied about this.

And Nunes lied about the Yahoo news story. Nunes claimed the DOJ used the Yahoo story as proof of the Steele dossier. No. The article was used to quote Page’s denials of secret Moscow meetings, which makes the meetings all the more suspect.

And finally, those FBI lovebirds with the texting fetish had zero to do with the FISA warrant. Nunes lied about that too.

Some interesting footnotes. First of all, I’m still shocked that the Trump campaign didn’t go the FBI the second they were told the Russians had stolen “thousands” of Hillary’s emails. That’s un-American, un-patriotic behavior.

Nor did the Trump campaign go to the FBI a few months later when they saw the news go public that, in fact, Hillary’s emails HAD been stolen, just as the Russians had an intermediary tell Papadopoulos. How do you not THEN call the FBI?

Bottom line: Four Republican federal judges found sufficient evidence that former top Trump campaign foreign policy aide Carter Page was acting as a Russian agent, to issue a FISA warrant permitting the FBI to spy on him. And, they received useful info during that spying.

And for some reason, Devin Nunes and Donald Trump and Paul Ryan don’t want you to know that one of Trump’s former top foreign policy aides was credibly suspected of working for the Russians. You do the math.

PS Trump is worried, he just tweeted:


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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