On Friday afternoon, Rep. Devin Nunes released his heavily anticipated memo, which was supposedly chock full of evidence to indicate anti-Trump corruption in the FBI.
The Nunes memo makes several assertions about the FBI’s supposed bias against Donald Trump — namely, that the Bureau’s intent to surveil Trump’s former campaign foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, was an abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. What the memo conveniently neglects to mention, however, is that Page actually left the Trump campaign a month before the FISA application.
The memo also describes how the Page FISA application depended heavily on the infamous Steele dossier (otherwise known as the first evidence of the “pee tape”), which Nunes claims is problematic, as Christopher Steele was financed by “political actors.” (The identity of the “actors” is never clarified, but it is heavily implied that they were Democrats.)
While the memo seems to think it contains incontrovertibly damning evidence of the FBI’s attempts to thwart Donald Trump’s presidency, there is actually very little of substance to be found.
“There is no proof in the memo that the FBI is biased against Trump, no proof of abuse of surveillance powers by the FBI, and no proof that the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia is fundamentally flawed,” writes Vox‘s Zach Beauchamp. “The memo is a piece of partisan spin, and not a particularly compelling one at that.”
— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) February 2, 2018
It is suspected that Trump will use the memo as ammunition in an attempt to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is currently overseeing Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Reporter: Do you still have confidence [in Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein]?
Pres. Trump: You figure it out.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 2, 2018
Many people felt that the memo was preposterous, particularly considering the fact that the FBI seemed so intent on reminding the public of Hillary Clinton’s email server during the 2016 election — hardly an indicator of anti-Trump bias.