January 29, 2018 10:41 am -

You know that much-hyped “secret memo” drafted by House Intel Committee chair Devin Nunes?

A group of Republicans in the House of Representatives is calling for the public release of a classified four-page memo they say shows a shocking misuse of power by people at the highest levels of the FBI and Department of Justice in relation to Trump campaign surveillance. … In addition to members of Congress, some of the greatest advocates for the document’s release have been Fox News anchor Sean Hannity and the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr.

Translation: it is a a politicized hatchet job Hill Republicans are using to protect former game show host Donald Trump from being impeached or indicted.

The Justice Department does not want it released.

The Justice Department, which has been denied the opportunity to review the so-called memo, believes the release of the document could prove “extraordinarily reckless.”

In a letter to Nunes last week, Stephen Boyd, a Trump-appointed assistant attorney general and former Senate aide to Jeff Sessions, wrote, “We do not understand why the committee would possibly seek to disclose classified and law enforcement sensitive information without first consulting with the relevant members of the intelligence community.”

Well, now we know why the GOP is so desperate to release this smear job: DOJ has reason to believe someone who was once thisclose to Uncle Dotard is a Russian agent.

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein approved an application to extend surveillance of a former Trump campaign associate shortly after taking office last spring, according to three people familiar with it.

The renewal shows that the Justice Department under President Trump saw reason to believe that the associate, Carter Page, was acting as a Russian agent.

The memo also makes an assumption that is believed to be, at very least, a stretch:

The memo’s primary contention is that F.B.I. and Justice Department officials failed to adequately explain to an intelligence court judge in initially seeking a warrant for surveillance of Mr. Page that they were relying in part on research by an investigator, Christopher Steele, that had been financed by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
It is difficult to judge whether Republicans’ criticism of the surveillance has merit.

That’s about as close as The New York Times can come to saying “The whole memo smells like a bullsh!t hit job on the nation’s top enforcers of the law” without the usual suspects whining, “Media bias! Media bias!!”

The Times knows well that a good deal of what has transpired since Trump was inaugurated suggests that Steele was not DOJ’s sole source of evidence that Page has been playing for Team Putin for a very long time.

Expect a battle royal over the Nunes memo between Trump and DOJ during the next several days. But while you do, consider that DOJ may have uncovered a treasonous mole in the Trump Campaign — and, as Glenn Simpson of investigative firm Fusion GPS has stated, American assets have died because of information that has been gathered in the probe into the Trump Campaign’s Russian ties.

Heckuva job, Nunes! On top of the Page flap. you have to wonder if the full-court press to get the documents out has something to do with this:

Congress late last year received “extraordinarily important new documents” in its investigation of President Donald Trump and his campaign’s possible collusion with the 2016 Russian election hacking, opening up significant new lines of inquiry in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s probe of the president, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) says in an exclusive new interview.

Warner, the intel committee’s top Democrat, says “end-of-the-year document dumps” produced “very significant” revelations that “opened a lot of new questions” that Senate investigators are now looking into, meaning the inquiry into Trump and the Russia hacking—already nearly a year old—will not be finished for months longer. “We’ve had new information that raises more questions,” Warner says in the interview, an extensive briefing on the state of the Senate’s Trump-Russia probe for The Global Politico, our weekly podcast on world affairs.

There are no coincidences. ‘Nuff said.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.