Trump Jingling The Keys?
If you regularly listen to the Whiskey Congress podcast (link available below), you almost certainly have heard the hosts talking about President Trump’s actions and antics serving as a distraction while, behind the scenes, his administration is making policy decisions that actually deserve the attention of the American people. We have referred to it as “jingling the keys”. Now President Trump is releasing a memo authored by Representative Devin Nunes in the interest of “exposing” bias against his administration in the upper echelon of the FBI. Many are speculating that the administration is hoping to distract from the findings of the House Intelligence Committee investigation in the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election and the potential involvement of members of Trump’s campaign team. It is important to understand the fundamental issue at hand. If the contents of the memo are to be taken at face value, there was political motivation leading to authorization of a FISA surveillance authorization. There is not any refutation of actual findings just whether surveillance was rightfully authorized. As former FBI Director succinctly put it “That’s it?”.
Former FBI Director James Comey took aim at the controversial memo authored by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes’ staff, which was declassified by President Donald Trump and released Friday.
Criticizing the memo in a Friday tweet, Comey wrote, “That’s it?”
“Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen,” he continued. “For what? DOJ & FBI must keep doing their jobs.”
Comey was abruptly fired by Trump last May, and his dismissal led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee the investigation into Russian election interference and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. Comey’s firing is also the subject of whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice in the investigation.
Trump declassified the memo, even though his appointees at the Department of Justice and FBI — including FBI Director Christopher Wray, whom Trump chose to replace Comey — pushed him not to authorize its release.