Last week, the president of the United States made an unprecedented move by authorizing the release of a classified memo for his own selfish purposes. The memo, written by Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, was supposed to detail abuses of power by the FBI and Justice Department. Instead, it was an insubstantial, partisan attempt to discredit the investigation run by special counsel Robert Mueller. President Donald Trump even went so far as to say that this memo “vindicates” him in the Russia probe.
The government of the United States of America has stooped to a new low. Classified information is supposed to be just that: classified. Declassifying a document like this is usually only done in rare circumstances after extreme vetting of the information. Instead, this president decided to declassify a document against the wishes of his own Justice Department. Doing so has impugned the reputation of the FBI, Justice Department and the House Intelligence Committee itself. So if this one document can be so damaging to so many pieces of our government, why release it? Simple: presumed personal gain.
Trump could not resist another attempt to try to undermine the investigation into his 2016 campaign’s dealings with Russia. The memo talks about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants signed to allow surveillance of former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page – a known Russian contact. According to the memo, the FBI did not disclose to the court that the dossier information being used to justify the warrant was partially funded by the Democratic National Committee. In fact, according to multiple other reports that came out this week, that information was disclosed to the court, which still saw enough evidence to issue the warrant.
By using false information, Nunes cast the Justice Department in a bad light and implied it has partisan motives. This was an attempt to imply that all of their investigations, including Mueller’s, are therefore partisan and cannot be trusted. One might find it quite ironic that a Republican is accusing the FBI of being biased against the Republican Party. In fact, the FBI has often been viewed as a Republican-leaning agency.
The officials who signed the renewals of the FISA warrants and are now accused of being part of this conspiracy against the president were mostly Republicans. So why would they be biased against a Republican president? Why would Mueller, a Republican, be working with Democrats to take down Trump? Exactly. They wouldn’t.
This memo is nothing more than noise being made by the Republicans in Congress and the White House to distract from the validity and importance of the Mueller investigation. Mueller and his team will continue to grind away to finding justice. The majority of Americans support the special counsel and his team, and this diversion is not going to change that.
The president and his congressional colleagues should focus on running the government instead of leading the American people through more partisan charades.
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