The decade's most triggering comedy
A few weeks ago, Rep. Devin Nunes appeared on Mark Levin’s Fox News show, “Life, Liberty & Levin.” Near the end, he talked about how he and his staff put out a memo in early 2018 “to expose the counterintelligence malfeasance that was occurring in the FBI” in the search for Russian “collusion” with Donald Trump. The media did all kinds of stories about how the Republicans were concocting “conspiracy theories” and destroying the nation’s law enforcement agencies.
Nunes boasted: “And what we really find out now: Everything that we said at that time was 100 percent accurate. Everything that the Democrats and the media said at the time: 100 percent inaccurate.”
At the time of the memo’s release, we found that the networks spent 17 minutes complaining about its release and only about five minutes explaining what was in it!
As Mollie Hemingway noted on The Federalist website, the report by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz established that the Nunes memo was accurate and the response from Rep. Adam Schiff was not. While fired FBI Director James Comey proclaimed he was vindicated, Horowitz testified, “the activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this.”
Let’s review some of the Nunes findings that Horowitz found to be true.
1. Ex-British spy Christopher Steele’s sleazy and unsubstantiated dossier of dirt on Trump “formed an essential part of” an application sent to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court to secure a right to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The application did not explain that the dossier was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
2. The application extensively cited a 2016 Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which didn’t corroborate the dossier — since Steele himself was Isikoff’s source! The FBI wrongly claimed Steele was not a source for the story.
3. Nellie Ohr, wife of Bruce Ohr, then a high-ranking Justice Department official, worked for the firm Fusion GPS to assist the Clinton campaign effort. Her husband sent her research to the FBI. He admitted that Steele “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president,” but he and his wife concealed this as well as their relationship with the Clinton campaign from the FISA court.
4. “The dossier was ‘only minimally corroborated’ and unverified, according to FBI officials,” wrote Hemingway.
These deeply dishonest FISA applications were submitted by Comey and his Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Schiff’s then-minority side of the committee put out a memo in response to Nunes with competing claims. Each of these Horowitz found to be false:
1. Obama’s Justice Department “made only narrow use of information from Steele’s sources about Page’s specific activities in 2016.”
2. Team Obama “disclosed” the “assessed political motivation” of Steele’s benefactors.
3. “In subsequent FISA renewals, DOJ provided additional information that corroborated Steele’s reporting,” Hemingway wrote.
4. “The Page FISA warrant allowed the FBI to collect ‘valuable intelligence,'” she added.
5. The DOJ “repeatedly informed the Court about Steele’s background, credibility, and potential bias,” she wrote. (In fact, it never used his name.)
6. “The FBI conducted a ‘rigorous process’ to vet Steele’s allegations, and the Page FISA application explained the FBI’s reasonable basis for finding Steele credible.
7. Steele’s prior reporting was used in ‘criminal proceedings.'”
Despite Horowitz’s carefully noncommittal demeanor and his facts’ lining up with Nunes’, the media sided with Schiff. Russiagate fanatic Rachel Maddow called it “a sad trombone for Trump.” Two leftist Washington Post writers wrote an article headlined “The Nunes Memo Is out. It’s a Joke and a Sham.”
The fake media can’t believe anyone would doubt that everything they say is the gospel truth.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.