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“Worse than a nothing burger”: The Nunes memo lands with a thud

The Nunes memo has been released. The partisan document released by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, R-Calif., proved absolutely nothing, aside from the fact that Nunes is trying to throw up a smokescreen to distract from the Trump-Russia scandal he’s supposed to be investigating.

The assertion the Republican memo does little to back up is that several high-ranking law enforcement officials in both the Obama and Trump administration signed off on numerous affidavits that relied on politically biased evidence.

Here are some key takeaways from the four-page memo:

1. It opens by mentioning that “on October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable court order” that authorized electronic surveillance of Carter Page, a Trump campaign associate, from the FISC.

The Republican report conveniently omits, however, that Page was actually known to American counterintelligence officials as far back as 2013, according to The Wall Street Journal. In 2013, Page met with a Russian with ties to the Kremlin who was later charged by the Justice Department for acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government. The memo doesn’t mention why the probable cause order was issued three years later, as well as one week before then-FBI Director James Comey released his controversial letter on Hillary Clinton’s email investigation.

2.  Over and over again the Nunes memo says one thing: The Steele dossier was biased, therefore, the decision to surveil Page was wrong.

As USA TODAY reporter Brad Heath notes, however, Republicans never claim that it was illegal:

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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