What Difference Does It Make? The Memo

February 2, 2018

The US House Intelligence Committee has released, with Presidential authorization, the memo detailing alleged abuse of government surveillance powers by the FBI and DOJ.  Direct links to the memo are available here and here.  (The second link at docs.house.gov is currently slow, probably due to traffic.)

My analysis of this short document is that the FBI did in fact withhold source information from the FISA court about the Steele Dossier and about data from Fusion GPS, despite having this source information at the time of the initial FISA application and subsequent required renewals.  These sources (primarily Christopher Steele and Nellie Ohr) have obvious biases and conflicts of interest that would taint any evidence provided to the FISA court.  Multiple levels of FBI and DOJ administrators knew of these problems, but signed off on the surveillance requests anyway.

I am neither a lawyer nor a national security specialist, but I see no reason this document was ever classified, except to protect the names of DOJ and FBI administrators who signed off on the FISA requests, especially since the contents of the dossier and other Fusion GPS data was leaked to the press some time ago.

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