The drama in the whole #ReleaseTheMemo episode got ratcheted up yesterday when one of the assistant attorney generals, Stephen Boyd who heads the office of legislative liaison, sent Devin Nunes a hyperbolic memo basically predicting the end of Western Civilization should the House Intelligence Committee vote to let the public see the memo.
There are a couple of interesting parts to this. First, we were told by Adam Schiff and his fans that all this was was a compilation of the “best of” texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. This was bizarre on its face as the messages had largely been distributed to newsrooms across the nation and the memo was stored in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF). As a rule, you store as little stuff in a SCIF as you can because everything in a SCIF has controlled access and that is a pain to deal with.
The FBI had been whinging about the House Intelligence Committee not letting them see the memo and suddenly Justice was claiming the information was so sensitive that it would be “reckless” to declassify it. How does this work?
Overall the tone of the memo was smarmy and insulting. It was like a guy who had been Jeff Sessions’ spokes-toad was lecturing the Article I branch of government on how to use classified information and the danger of leaks…considering there have been 100+ leaks of classified information designed to harm Trump or his administration, resulting in at least 27 ongoing criminal investigations, this is sort of rich. In fact, it has a lot in common with the tack taken by Mark Warner:
— Judicial Watch 🔎 (@JudicialWatch) January 25, 2018
Trey Gowdy was on CNN with Erin Burnett yesterday and the first question she asked was about this memo. The video is cued up to start at the transcript.
I have tremendous respect for the Department of Justice and the FBI. I worked in and with them for 18 of my professional years so there’s no member of Congress that holds that department and higher esteem than I do.
I have concerns about what was done in the spring in the fall of 2016 and I’m not a critic of the department I’m not someone who alleges the department is corrupt. I’m a fan of the department and I have concerns about what they did in 2016 so I would say this to my friend Stephen Boyd. Let’s lower the rhetoric. I don’t care if you see the memo but let’s be clear about this, Erin. The memo was derived, distilled, from information that the department gave us so it’s not like there’s new information. Everything in the memo they already have. What they don’t know specifically is what are their complaints and I’m fine to share them with them. But you can’t possibly say a memo is reckless if you haven’t read it.
This is the essence of the problem. All the information the House Intelligence Committee has was given to them by the FBI. So the FBI knows the parameters of what is in the memo. All they don’t know is exactly what the House is keying on. And without that information, they won’t be able to prepare a defense.
Boyd is also well aware that if the Intel Committee votes to declassify the memo, the president gets five days to recommend things to remove. So the FBI will get a chance to see it they just won’t get a chance to have any more “glitches” to try to scuttle what the House and Senate are investigating.
The next question is why, if Adam Schiff thinks this is just a bunch of crap, that the Democrats won’t demand the declassification of everything just to rub Devin Nunes’s face in it?