Jail the Guilty, Repeal FISA

The House Intelligence Committee’s summary memo of highly classified FBI and Justice Department documents confirms what has been public knowledge for over a year: Some of America’s highest officials used U.S. intelligence’s most intrusive espionage tools to attempt to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and then to cripple Donald Trump politically. Being of one mind with the rest of the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, these officials acted symbiotically and seamlessly with them, regardless of any cooperation that may have existed.

The party-in-power’s use of government espionage to thwart the opposition violates the Fourth Amendment and sets a ruinous precedent. Having done so under color of law—specifically, the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)—makes it a lot worse.

Unfortunately, the summary memo—to say nothing of the Democrats’ and their kept media’s reaction to it—focuses largely on whether the FBI and Justice Department dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s as they obtained a warrant from the FISA court to do the spying. This misrepresents high crimes as merely technical violations. Worse, it risks leaving in place a law under which those in charge of the government may violate the basic tenets of American political life with reasonable hope of impunity.

FISA’s Origins
Prior to FISA, American intelligence agencies had done national security electronic surveillance under the president’s power as commander in chief of the armed forces. The president and his agents were responsible for doing it properly. I was part of the Senate Intelligence Committee staff that drafted FISA in 1978. The legislation was meant to answer complaints from leftists who sued the FBI and the National Security Agency after learning they had been overheard working against the United States during the Vietnam War. They wanted to extend the principle that no one may be surveilled without a court order to Americans in contact with foreigners.

But the main push for FISA, in fact, came from the FBI and NSA. Wishing to preclude further lawsuits, the agencies issued Congress an ultimatum: no more national security wiretaps unless each tap has the approval of a judge (thus absolving them of responsibility). FISA established a court to review warrant applications for national security electronic surveillance, in secret and without contrary argument. It commanded the agencies to observe procedural safeguards for the Americans involved.

I opposed FISA as a Senate staffer. I also argued against the legislation in an American Bar Association debate with Antonin Scalia, who was a professor at the University of Chicago Law School at the time. My view then and now is that the FISA court creates an irresistible temptation to political abuse and that officials would interpret any procedural safeguards accordingly.

The Memo Reveals a Bigger Problem
In what is arguably the key passage of the Nunes memo, the committee states:

Neither the initial application [for surveillance of the Trump campaign] in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier [which was a basis for the application] were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.

If that’s true, then the officials who signed the applications—including FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, acting Attorney General Sally Yates, then-acting Attorney General Dana Boente, and then-acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—are guilty of misrepresenting material facts to a federal court. All of them belong in the slammer—for at least a little while.

And at some level, they know this. Hence the public relations campaign to downplay the crime. For example, the New York Times on February 2 quoted David Kris, who served as President Obama’s head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. According to Kris, if the FISA application merely told the court that “Mr. Steele’s research was motivated to undermine Mr. Trump’s campaign,” then “the FISA application would be fine.” Note well what narrow distinction, subject to a wide latitude of interpretation, supposedly separates a high crime from “that’s fine” under the law.

But the FISA court’s procedures and requirements—inherently subject to self-interested interpretation as they are—are of far less importance than the fact that FISA was a big mistake to begin with. The law removed responsibility for the substance of executive judgment from the shoulders of the very people who make such judgments.

Today, Comey, Rosenstein, and others may well believe their own claims that they were merely turning government’s neutral wheels and that the judges would judge. Nonsense. They decided to become partisans in the 2016 presidential campaign because they were as convinced as were countless others of their class that they had the right and the duty to protect America (and their place in it) from unworthy challengers.

Perhaps only their failure to dot the i’s and cross the t’s may make it possible for them to be jailed for their crime. But because their successors may be similarly motivated and more careful, it behooves us to erase doubt about who is responsible for electronic surveillance by repealing FISA. 

About Angelo Codevilla

Angelo M. Codevilla was a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He was professor of international relations at Boston University and the author of several books including To Make And Keep Peace (Hoover Institution Press, 2014).

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165 responses to “Jail the Guilty, Repeal FISA”

  1. Excellent article ! FISA was unnecessary overreach from the very beginning . Contact your representatives , tell them to repeal FISA now !

  2. STOP!!! It’s not FISA that’s the problem. It’s the PATRIOT ACT that amended FISA that’s the problem. FISA was created in 1978 after it was revealed that the FBI, DOJ, CIA were conducting illegal wire taps against US citizens. It placed serious restrictions on warrant authorizations and extended 4th amendment rights to those subject to those warrants. The PATRIOT ACT changed all of this and here we are.

    • Excellent point ! What an ill named piece of terrible legislation .

      • No different than “Affordable Care Act,” or “Net Neutrality.” You can almost bet the effect is the opposite of the name.

      • For Dem laws, yes. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is just as described!

      • Don’t let Bush off the hook for the Patriot Act. He sold everyone out.

      • George H W Bush was the director of the CIA, not George W Bush!

      • Vannevar Bush, W’s grandfather worked for “Wild Bill” Donovan in the Office of Strategic Services as well as the Manhattan Project. The OSS was the forerunner of the CIA formed during WWII

      • Bushie Jr sold out most of us the entire 8 years, and the Patriot Act was the worst of it but that was as much Congress as Bushie jr.

    • It makes all this double interesting, because the FBI director that drafted the Patriot Act changes and regulations implementing the PATRIOT ACT Was, bum bum bum, FBI Director Robert Mueller III.

      • Where was your outrage during the so-called war on terrorism, that’s right you were one of the many who called Democrats traitors because they wanted freeedom from a police state! I’m sure you also cheered Muller when he announced his investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email. You also kept quiet as local police departments country wide bought military grade war machines including tanks so don’t cry now because your white trash messiah Trump got caught being a Russian agent. Stand up for America for once and be a true patriot. Call out this treason like Bannon did!

      • So you think the FBi and DOJ violated the law in this case then?

      • You are wrong on all of that. I am a simple country boy in Northern Michigan. I thought the Patriot Act was always a mistake. Where do you get your information?

      • Now that IS interesting….Is this then a Conflict of Interest?

      • When Crooked Hillary used her influence to help Russia obtain the buying rights to 20% of America’s Uranium, Robert Mueller was our FBI Director! Why didn’t he report her?

        America First!

  3. It bears repeating:

    In what is arguably the key passage of the Nunes memo, the committee states:

    Neither the initial application [for surveillance of the Trump campaign] in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier [which was a basis for the application] were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.
    If that’s true, then the officials who signed the applications—including FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, acting Attorney General Sally Yates, then-acting Attorney General Dana Boente, and then-acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—are guilty of misrepresenting material facts to a federal court. All of them belong in the slammer—for at least a little while.

    • Of course, but during their trials, we would learn additional, unseemly things….things that took place in the White House while The First Black President worked there…and we all know that will NEVER be allowed to happen.

      • Well we either get back to the rule of law or this country continues to be a banana republic. We can’t make fun of s-hole countries now that Progressives have nearly completed their mission- always putting party before country.

      • I think that it would be the same for ANY Prog President…..the further left, the more justice be dammed.

    • Are you repeating this because you agree? You do know that Nunes himself already admitted on Fox that this statement is false?

    • Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Yates, Rosenstein, Lerner, Bill & Hillary, along with Loretta Lynch should be subpoenaed and prosecuted!

      America First!

  4. Federal
    Bureau of

    Someone should be wearing orange.

  5. FISA should be gone, and all forensic evidence should be produced by neutral labs who have no idea if they are working for the defense or prosecution. The FBI lies all over the place.

  6. FISA should be repealed because as a real court FISA is a fiction.
    FISA is a rubber stamp protecting bureaucrats while leaving the citizens as exposed as if FISA did not exist.

    • You are the first to mention this point. We have been told countless times that Comey & Company worked to mislead the Judge…but doesn’t the Judge have a responsibility to vet the statements made by warrant seekers?

      • Warrant applications are sworn. Ex Parte procedures require the presenting party to offer all exculpatory evidence in its best light.

        Courts are to weigh the evidence presented, not to seek evidence.
        That is one of the reasons why advesarial procedings are the norm and ex parte hearings are disfavored and why the 4th amendment exists.

      • “Courts are to weigh the evidence presented…” But so what? As far as the abusiveness and political nature of the DOJ is concerned, the Courts have all the safeguards of indicting a ham sandwich.

      • You are confusing metaphors.

        A good prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwhich.
        The FISA court does not indict anyone – they grant warrants – based on requests by law enforcement where those requesting the warrant swear to the acurracy and veracity of the assertions made.

        Flynn and Papadoulis face jail for minor unsworn misstatements to the FBI.
        What should be the consequence of more significant sworn misrepresentations to the FISA court

      • The same reason we have Miranda rights. The 4th amendment.

      • And they only see the evidence that they are presented with… It is inherently a one-sided argument, not a true court proceeding.

      • The purpose of the Judge (the value he brings, if you will) is to provide the illusion of fairness.

      • Right you are. The more people involved in a government decision, the less responsible they all become.

      • Crooked Mueller has searched for a crime for over a year and has already spent over $7 Million!

        There is no obstruction, there is no evidence, there is no collusion!

        This witch hunt should be stopped immediately!

        America First!

      • Go listen to Mark Levin from yesterday’s show via podcast on his website. He goes into great detail the history of the abuse of power via vicious prosecutions of innocent people by Mueller and his crew. They are truly evil men. Codevilla is right that the power abusers need to be in jail. That includes Mueller. Sadly, note how many Republicans like Goudy and Ryan are standing up and praising Mueller’s so called straight arrow professionalism. That is a huge swamp lie.

      • They all said the same thing about Comey didn’t they? These men seem to believe that if you describe yourself as a Boy Scout, that you ARE a Boy Scout.

      • I think there is a bias from people who have worked with these people, found them capable, and cannot believe they have become so partisan now.

      • It seems that our FBI is corrupt and dangerous!

        Thank God for President Trump!

        America First!

      • Ah yes, in the tradition of J. Edgar Hoover.

      • The fact that he rejected the initial application is telling. From my understanding, something like 95% are approved so even the judge was initially suspicious.

      • The Judges are likely just more swamp creatures wanting to get along and go along with the “Ruling Class” that Codvilla has so well documented. Sure they just used their rubber stamps, while assuming their rulings would never be reviewed or see the light of day. Thus I presume why we haven’t heard from the judges about their being misled by the FBI. Would also not doubt that Obama may have secretly packed the FISA courts via secret executive orders with partisan hacks like the ones constantly and illegally overruling Trump’s immigration orders.

    • Trump needs FISA to drain the swamp.
      Once it is drained we can repeal it.

    • I suspect that the judges are rotten too. The so-called “Steele Dossier” was so outlandish and smeared so many others in order to fill it out that no one in the news media would bite on it before the election despite the lying 000’s attempts to sell it to anyone who would listen. Yet, a federal judge read it and gave it credibility it never should have had, knowing the bureau had not vetted it, that it all depended on the credibility of a foreigner. FISA warrants are required to be based on facts, not unverified claims. Then of course it should have been patently obvious to a judge that the real purpose of the “Page” warrant was to spy on Trump via Page. A real judge would have smelled a rat and perhaps they did and not only approved a warrant after Page had left his tiny role in the campaign, but renewed it three more times. The judges that allowed this travesty need to be outed too.

  7. If you look at the Democrat/Left media complex, every single version of this story is that GOP is crazy, the GOP is engaged in conspiracy theories, the GOP is awful and in bed with Putin, etc. There is absolutely zero attempt to analyze the Nunes memo or any of the other facts (such as all the insanity at the FBI, high-level departures, reassignments, etc). It is all simply dismissed out of hand.

    The Right can be just as closed-minded, but I am hard pressed to think of a story of this magnitude where the collective Right simply played the “see no evil” routine in complete unison.

    It’s like there are two completely different universes and nobody is willing to visit the other even for a few minutes.

    • There are not 2 different truths. There is reality and then there are the Democrats.

      • Theirr mental frames do not usefully correspond to reality.

    • Why should I or anyone want to visit a universe in which down can be declared up on the whim of someone who will profit by doing so?

      • Can’t help you, but I know that some people wear blinders because they like wearing them.

    • “There is absolutely zero attempt to analyze the Nunes memo or any of the other facts” If you believe this, I have to assume you haven’t watched or read much from the ‘left media complex.’ The memo has been dissected and fact checked endlessly. If you want me to go find you a bunch of article links and video clips, I can.

      • No thanks. I’ve seen the “fact checks” myself. I have also seen your left media complex memory hole Schiff and the FBI’s false claims that the memo revealed sources and methods when it did not.

        These claims were bald faced lies by people who knew they were lies at the time the lies were told and the media dutifully spread the lies and has moved on to the new talking points without pausing to “speak truth to power” and expose the lies. That is a fact.

  8. There’s only one phrase in this article worth reading: “If that’s true…”

    Of course, all indications are that the court was not misled as to the partisan origins of the Steele dossier. And the only reason Professor Sweetiecakes here is able to vomit up this sad tale of has-beenery about lost days of glory when people may have but probably didn’t care about what he had to say and but but but he was always against FISA!, is well because Nunes bought the GOP like a week for us to have a debate informed by half truth. Enjoy!

    I’m sure we’ll all welcome the subsequent apology from Emeritus Whatshisname up there about how he shouldn’t have been so hasty in his calls for the end of liberty for a handful of career public servants lol nah j/k you kids will be on to the next and probably forgotten how to spell FISA by then… I mean, you’ve probably already forgotten what it stands for and look at you scrolling up to double check aren’t you just adorable!

    Mmmm another for you honey dears:

    “Being of one mind with the rest of the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, these officials acted symbiotically and seamlessly with them, regardless of any cooperation that may have existed.”

    Pray tell how that washes with Comey’s repeated public statements concerning the HIllary email investigations. We’ll need you response in 500-1000 words, double spaced, typed, with references on my desk by 5 sharp this time you Corys. xoxo

    • If by “all indications”, you mean taking Adam Schiff’s odd phrasing about the partisan sourcing of some of the information being disclosed at face value and framing in the best possible light , then sure. But normal people would not consider that to be all of the indications.

      The Democrats, most notably Mr. Schiff, tried to keep the memo from coming to light and lied about what the memo contained. Btw, as far as I know, Mr. Schiff has not said once that the Hillary Campaign’s role in sourcing the info was revealed.

      The truth will come out, one way or another.

    • You sir win the internet. These hypocrites loved FISA during W’s presidency and are now making excuses for the Russian Traitor in Chief and his mafia associates, isn’t convenient that they always leave out the fact that Nunes was part of campaign transition team and has also taken campaign donations from Russians mobsters. Just imagine the outrage had the dems attacked Law enforcement like this? What happened to Blue Lives Matter and loving the police state above all else? I guess those are only slogans to further the agenda.

      • Well, I’m a libertarian who was very much against the Patriot act, FISA, the Iraq war, etc. And from my third party perspective, the whole Russia-Trump thing always struck me as far fetched, and it sure looks like Obama’s FBI and DOJ were engaged in some serious crimes.

    • There is only one part of your screed – well there are many but for brevity – “all indications are” is you only looking through a partisan lens. We don’t know what the support for the application is, and what was omitted, since it hasn’t been released. For this “gate” to start to diminish they have to release the FISA application. Otherwise the debate will have no end. We the People need to know and deserve to know.

    • The email investigation let Hillary and her lying staff off the hook. The fix was in and that last week revelation for a period of three days that Comey revealed then dismissed the existence of the Weiner laptop was the result of pressure from the rank and file agents who demanded that McCabe and Comey do something after sitting on the revelation for three weeks. Comey had previously reported to Congress that the investigation was over and feared repercussions if it came out he had ignored a new potential source of the missing emails. Comey is first and foremost a self-serving Comey-supporter. He knew if the laptop contained classified emails and he suppressed it, his career was over. Three days before the election he re-cleared Clinton.

  9. Obama polluted everything he touched.
    Including the FBI.

    • GW helped. Remember that it was under his watch that the ill-conceived Patriot Act was enacted that opened the door for a lot of these abuses.

      • As this author noted – this has been a problem for a long time, and with both parties

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      • “I was part of the Senate Intelligence Committee staff that drafted FISA in 1978.” Angelo M. Codevilla

    • Let the sun shine in. Just being reported, “Lawyers for General Mike Flynn will shortly file a motion to dismiss all the charges filed against him, based on reports now confirmed by The Hill, Circa News and Infowars, that Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe told a teleconference of law enforcement officials, “first we f*ck Flynn, then we f*ck Trump.”

    • I have enormouse problems with Obama.
      But many of the issues here are decades old.
      The evisceration of the 4th amendment has taken over 50 years.

    • This is what you get by electing a community organizer as president for 8 years. Corruption and deceit are prerequisites to that job. Crooks and liars are your henchmen (Clinton, Lynch, Holder, Rice, etc.)… The whole thing stinks to high heaven.

  10. If its true that FISA doesn’t ask questions, such as the source of a dossier and who paid for it…. ??

    • Its also true that most of the items in the dossier have been proven true and the GOP originally funded the damn thing. so pray tell which parts of the dossier are false?

      • A GOP donor funded Fusion GPS before they hired Steele and before the “dossier” existed.
        The only items that have been proven true, per Clapper and Comey, are that Page went to Russia (which everyone knew) and that Putin didn’t like Clinton(which everyone knew). There have been no other items mentioned that have any level of corroboration, unless you count Steele planting stories in friendly media to be corroboration.

  11. We don’t even know if the process was abused here, yet we want to scrap FISA jail those who are allegedly involved and fully politicize the intelligence agencies on behalf of Trump, a man with a massive autocratic streak. Yeah, no danger in that.

    • Any process that can be abused will be abused. Power corrupts …

      • True, and I’m very concerned with surveillance of American citizens but we also need to know what happened here. We need to see the actual evidence, not just what Nunes dreamed up.

      • Nunes didn’t write the memo. It was Trey Gowdy, the most experienced former prosecutor on the committee, and who took all of the info from the subpoena’d FISA documents. You know, the documents that the DOJ and FBI fought for half a year to keep from the intelligence oversight committee. That is not the actions of an innocent agency.

      • The idea that Nunes didn’t write it when he was taking info to the White House and being a little rat is hilarious. Gowdy, who has been hyper partisan just recently said nothing should impede the Mueller investigation.

      • If you automatically claim everything from a dem is legit and everything from a Repub is not, you just look like an idiotic partisan hack. Don’t be that guy.

      • Oh, I’m a registered Republican, I don’t thing everything is true from either and I’m not anti Republican, I’m anti Trump because I think he’s the single greatest threat to the republic since WW2.

      • Being a RINO and a stupid one at that, is nothing to brag about. And I seriously doubt it anyways, since Trump has done more for the Conservative agenda than anyone in my lifetime (and I voted for Reagan twice), and only a fool or liar would claim to be Republican and despise Trump.

        Take your pick.

      • And its weird that you use Gowdy as a confirmation of one thing while disparaging the memo he wrote. And saying nothing should impede Meullet is not endorsing anything but the process.

    • Guess you would never be convinced of the abuse…

  12. What is most disturbing about the Nunes memo is that if we assume every claim is true – most people are still not offended.

    We have forgotten that freedom exists. Orwell and Huxley’s dystopia’s have come into being, and we do not notice or care.

    • “if we assume every claim is true” – No one believes that. That’s why no one is offended. Everyone knows its a partisan document that cherry picks, omits, and twists things to make a point that’s unsupported by underlying facts.

      • Everyone knows this how? What an absurd claim…it’s merely a summary of their findings. Are you claiming anything in it is false?

      • It simply leaves out the likely preponderance of evidence other than the dossier. And that the warrant was renewed three times, requiring new evidence that the surveillance was justified (new, not from the dossier), then the original warrant was justified. Most people can follow this logic, so they dismissed the memo as junk.

      • So is Carter Page a spy? LOL Why isn’t he in federal prison? And why was surveillance stopped? He wasn’t a spy when the FBI questioned him in 2013 about the Russians who approached him seeking to recruit him. He then assisted the FBI in the prosecution of those Russians.

      • Couldn’t he have had contract with Russian intelligence without being a prosecutable spy? The answer is yes. Papadopoulos had contact with Russian intelligence sources, and his charge is lying to the FBI.

      • Because the FISA warrant was a type I warrant which is only possible if they had evidence he was actively engaged in espionage. No indictment, no further warrants, no espionage.

        Papadopoulos never had a FISA warrant. Never engaged with a Russian spy. Was never charged with anything relating to collusion.

        Try to keep up

      • Talk about trying to keep up! Papadopoulos know the Russians had hacked Democratic emails, before anyone (besides the Russians knew). No other way to get that than from Russians or Russian operatives. It is possible to obtain information without a FISA warrant, for your information. And ‘no more warrants? Pages was renewed three times, which requires new justifying instruments each time.

      • He is now free as a bird with no new warrants since May of last year. Did he quit being a spy and they let him go?

        And you’re right about getting information without a warrant. You can use a type I warrant to spy on someone, like maybe Page, and get all comunications he had with anyone else and their communications also like the criminals in Obama’s cabinet did through their hundreds of documented abuses of the 702 query system where they unmasked a record number of American citizens illegally and were rebuked by the FISA court and NSA director Mike Rogers who ended the 702 query process to put an end to the Obama administration’ s abuses.

        Thanks for reminding me.

      • Um.. then why did Rs, led by Nunes, vote down civil liberty changes recently, and voted to reauthorize 702 as is for 6 years? So much for your wishful argument.

      • Do you not understand that 702 was reauthorized as is a few weeks ago, with Rs (including Nunes) voting against civil liberty amendments supported by libertarians and Dems? Is the Congressional Record fake news too? Facts vs fantasy.

      • Nice deflection chump. You cant refute the fact that the Obama administration abused the 702 process so badly that the FISA court officially rebuked them and Rogers stopped the 702 about query until it could be assessed what happened .

        He then gave Congress assurances that further abuse would be prevented. But that is beside the point.

      • You inadvertently reinforced my point. If FISA abuses were really that bad, Republicans wouldn’t have voted to reauthorize 702 as is, now would they?

        The logical explanation is that they approve of FISA safeguards, but they picked out the Page situation to make political points.

      • I would say about 40% the country believes that. Another 40% are brain dead libs and low informnation voters. The rest are just politically ignorant. You seem to be ignorant.

      • no one beleives that ?

        The FBI did not spy on MLK with RFK and JFK’s blessing ?
        The FBI did not screw up Ruby ridge and shoot innocent people, and hide the evidence ?
        Wacco never happened ?
        The government did not hide evidence in the bundy case ? Setup snipers ?
        The FBI did not botch the DC anthrax case ?
        We do not currently have FBI, DEA, and other federal agencies educating local law enforcement in parallel construction – so that they can feed them illegally obtained evidence, while the locals use it to build a case that does not appear to depend on it ?
        The FBI lab was not absolutely excoriated for biased analysis in thousands of cases about a decade ago ?

        I can go on and on – Mueller was involved in some of those, Comey in some.
        I do not find it hard at all to beleive the FBI operated outside the bounds, it is not at all unusual for them.

        What is unusual at the moment – is that the left is defending their misconduct while the right is exposing it.

      • “No one believes that. ” – I did not ask if you beleived it.
        I noted that even if you did beleive it – you would not care.
        You have proven my point.

        You are so blinded by ideology, you are incapable of considering anything that puts your expectations at risk.

        And yes – there are people who beleive that – much, some even all. There are alot of people who are offended, Everyone does not know what you presume.

        I do not know what the truth is.

        But there are things I do know.
        The memo posed ZERO risk to nations security – that should be self evident now that you can read it. At worst it confirms things that have been in the pres for atleast a month.
        Democrats who fought its release for national security reasons – clearly knew better and were lying.
        The DOJ/FBI while not knowing exactly what the memo said until recently – did know what the classified documents said. IF the reason for blocking the the release of the memo was not national security – what was it ? It could not have been inaccuracies – democrats could have made those claims and asked for corrections before it was released.
        The only credible reason to block the memo is because it is true.

        Nunes and Gowdy at the least have staked their personal reputations on it – not to you. You would not care. But to alot of people who will feel betrayed if they have lied.
        And unlike those on the left – those on the right tend not to take being lied to and played well.

        Further the memo claims to accurately represent documents and testimony where there is a high probability that much of it will be made public soon enough.

        If what they wrote was false – we will all know possibly soon.
        Even you will know, but unless you get the outcome you want, I doubt you will confront the importance of that.

  13. What the memo makes clear is that the deep state is a kakistocracy. It really is the gang that cannot shoot straight. We are ruled by the most inept and incompetent. What has made them possible is the propaganda machine covering for them.

  14. What chance of repeal when both parties routinely reauthorize this and similar laws?

  15. Clean house – FBI-HQ fire EVERYONE. The field offices are fine, with the 10,000 or so agents they have. The problem is FBI-HQ is completely politicized (and, really, has been since day one).

    Clean house at DOJ also – get rid of ALL of the Obama holdovers.

  16. Mr. Codevilla and I are of the same mind, but I fear the fix is in. Rod Rosenstein and others who signed off on the FISA application will merely state for the record that they were misled.

  17. The GOP “leadership” unfortunately are morally bankrupt COWARDS, especially in the Senate. They won’t follow your sage advice as they should on this. If the tables were turned, the Dimwitcrats would try to use these corrupt, illegal spy tactics to bring down and imprison every Republican that breathes. The problem is the GOP would rather be liked by their enemies who as Marxists don’t believe in mercy or forgiveness, but destroying their political opponents at any cost, because for them the only thing in life to pursue is POWER. If the GOP wants to survive it better start acting like they mean it…..but I know they won’t.

    Hate to say this, but I worry “LITTLE JEFF SESSIONS” is in over his head…

    This is going to be fun to watch.

  19. And you wonder why dems are targeting conservatives this fall with narratives of winning the House and Senate. Did Watergate matter at all? Or is it just how sweaty and devious a sitting Republican president looks that politics turns on?

  20. Note that it wasn’t the entire FBI and DOJ that was corrupted. It was the Obama appointees in leadership positions that brought corruption to those organizations. The hard part, as with any nasty disease,is extricating the parasites.

  21. The American people are being insulted. There absolutely needs to be indictments for everyone who broke the law in this case. The FBI has a track record that hurts their image and cover ups will continue to hurt the country. Only a cleansing will create healing and eventually, new trust. Washington DC needs to quit trying to get away with things that ordinary citizens get burned for every day. These events are a travesty and need to be opened up and resolved.

  22. Outrageous, incredible, unimaginable and inconceivable that the United States of America has secret tribunals. Not to mention that the highest officials at the FBI & DOJ have committed fraud, contempt of court, material misrepresentation, official misconduct and likely a host of other crimes in their conspiracy with HRC & DNC to influence the outcome of the election. Those who are responsible, must be held responsible.

  23. instead of these lying corrupt politicians/government officials going to jail, the DimmoKKKraps will just focus on an agenda meme that a new law needs to be implemented to fix the FISA law.

    Meanwhile….if anyone else had been caught doing this kind of treasonous activity, we would rot in jail for years

  24. They told the Fisa court the it was ‘political’. Maybe the fisa court is smarter than the author and figured out that the Democrats would fund opposition research.

  25. The FISA warrant was obtained a month after Page had left the Trump campaign.
    The FBI said nothing about it to the press, and in fact specifically denied it at the same time it was publicizing the re-opening of the investigation into Clinton. Less than 2 weeks before the election.

    So, how is that an attempt to undermine Trump’s campaign? The entire claim simply makes no sense.

    • The warrant was obtained under Title I of the FISA act. It could have been used to do surveillance on anyone Page had ever talked to or interacted with looking at data already gathered in the past by the NSA or going forward.

      It was almost certainly the legal authority used to wiretap Trump and his aides during the transition period after the election. “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides” was the headline of an article in the NY Times on Jan 20, 2017, Inauguration Day.

  26. Just this winter, Republicans led by Nunes voted down reforms to Fisa 702 that were intended to protect Americans from being swept up. But, when given the chance to tear down our intelligence agencies for political gain, it’s a no brained.

    • I don’t have a problem using the FISA process to target leftists, but I do not want it used against non-leftists. :) Whatever works to destroy totalitarian socialism.

  27. You: “In what is arguably the key passage of the Nunes memo, the committee states:

    Neither the initial application…nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier…were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.

    If that’s true, then the officials who signed the applications…are guilty of misrepresenting material facts to a federal court. All of them belong in the slammer.”

    Nunes, on TV: Yeah, sorry, that’s not true. We fibbed a bit. The political origins of the dossier were disclosed after all.

    Given that the ‘key passage’ of the memo was plainly false, would you like to update your post?

    • Nunes said no such thing. The application mentioned a political entity without specifying what kind, let alone who. They deceived the court by failing to disclose who was behind it.

      • He failed to mention the footnote in the memo, and only did so when questioned directly about it. None of us knows the exact language (even Nunes, since he didn’t read it). My guess, when it comes out, it’ll be fairly clear. But for now, let’s assume that the FBI only said the research was provided as political research or was provided by a political entity. You’re honestly making the case that any intelligent person reading the application – and knowing who it was targeting – wouldn’t know what that meant?

      • Anyone can read the memo for themselves, and its footnotes; there is nothing sinister or untoward in what Nunes said.

        When we see the actual application–which I suspect we will and we should–I think it will confirm the Nunes Memo, that the FISA court was deliberately misled. That the judges may have been wilfully misled does not change that fact. Perhaps there was a conspiracy of silence to allow for some sort of plausible deniability. Because it the applicants came right out and said, Here is oppo “research” from the Hillary operation, really not research so much as a smear job (what Fusion specializes in), and we want you to issue a warrant to wiretap on the basis of it, no one would be able to take it seriously.

        What you are suggesting, logically, is that since the FISA court could have figured this out for itself, the applicants had no reason to conceal it, and they could have equally well have spelled it out with maximum clarity. Which is absurd. They had to play a game. But your implied question–what kind of judges are we dealing with here?–is certainly an inevitable one. Either they didn;t read the dossier or they didn’t care that it was unsubstantiated and written like the National Enquirer (which anyone can see for themselves).

        But let’s settle this by revealing everything.

      • Now Fisa court judges can’t figure out the political opposition is the Democrats? Do you realize how silly and sounds?

      • Do you realize how silly and sinister it sounds if they did? Using a manifest smear job as the basis for spying on a political party and candidate running for office and after winning an election? And no substantial confirmation, beyond “Carter Page went to Moscow”?

        What you are suggesting is that since the FISA court could have figured this out for itself, the applicants had no reason to conceal it, and they could have equally well have spelled it out with maximum clarity. Which is absurd. They had to play a game. But your implied question–what kind of judges are we dealing with here?–is certainly an inevitable one. Either they didn’t read the dossier or they didn’t care that it was unsubstantiated and written like the National Enquirer (which anyone can see for themselves).

        But let’s settle this by revealing everything.

      • Think of who often provides into to the FISA court. Not choirboys. What the look for is ‘does it show probable cause’, with appropriate skepticism about sources. Clearly this did, and that was proven by the surveillance revealing new information which enabled reauthorization. Given that, the semantics of the initial application was a distinction without a difference.

        The judges are hand picked by the Chief Justice of the supreme count, who is not exactly a bleeding heart liberal. Are you saying he’s part of the deep state too?

      • Right. But the bottom line is, what legal and institutional defenses are there against the political use of surveillance power of secret agencies against political adversaries and the parties and candidates out of power?

        I would say, none, based on what we have seen so far.

      • First you have no idea what has been confirmed, unless you are on Muellers team. Second, and mort importantly, a point you ignore, is that the surveillance confirmed contacts, or it wouldn’t have been reauthorized. The process worked, as much as you’d like to say it didn’t.

      • I stated a fact.. that enough evidence was found to justify further surveillance. A fact is something provable with evidence. Your ‘fact’ is ‘it’s politicized’, with incomplete or no evidence, and which is contradicted by an actual fact.

      • No, we don’t know that, and now don’t have any reason to believe it, unless further evidence is adduced. Carter Page was already cleared of being a Russian agent and the Dossier was, well, the Dossier, a scurrilous piece of campaign BS designed to smear rather than dig up dirt.

      • The institutional check is the FISA court itself, appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. That was put in due to the abuses of Nixon, and prior. To say that politicians would add value has been shown to be ludicrous.

      • So you’re ok with a rubber stamp with which politicized FBI or CIA can do what they want?

      • We can wait and see what Mueller finds, and we’ll know. Or we can just shut it down, and believe it’s been politicized because Republicans say so, which requires believing the judges, appointed by a Republican nominated Supreme Court judge, are dunces or deep state. Pretty much falls into the ‘because I said so’ category.

      • I have no problem with letting Mueller finish, as long as he does what is within the confines the independent counsel law. He doesn’t have a right t go an en endless fishing expedition, if he can’t find actual collusion (whatever that is) or reasons to believe Trump might be blackmailed by the Russians. He came on board after the warrants.

        But there will be a grand jury and maybe another special prosecutor convened to investigate what went on with Comey, Lynch, Strzok, and Hillary, and also Strzok, Page, Rosenstein, McCabe, and Comey. As there should be.

        What’s good for the goose is good for the gander–as we await the revelations of the IG’s report, which has already forced Wray to fire McCabe.

    • You are making a material misrepresentation. There is only a footnote in the FISA application which mentions that the so-called dossier was of “political origins.” That’s hardly being honest and letting the court know it is opposition research paid for by Hillary.

  28. What happened after Trump’s election is beyond belief. We needed Trump to appoint a strong AG who would have begun immediate investigation and prosecution of the Obama administration. Yet, somehow Trump is under investigation? Really? Remember after Obama won, he and Holder were moving forward to prosecute the Bush administration for war crimes, namely waterboarding. But strong public outcry stopped it cold. With the Obama administration we have real crimes — no special prosecutor was needed because it was the prior administration. Much to our surprise, Trump began talking about not prosecuting Hillary because losing was bad enough. Well, we see how the Democrats responded to Trump’s gracious magnanimity! Big mistake. Trump’s AG should have been investigating Obama’s secret payment of foreign currency to our mortal enemy, Iran. How did Obama get his hands on millions in foreign currency, legally? People from Obama’s IRS who interfered in a presidential election should already be in prison. Prosecutions should be taking place regarding the FBI’s sham investigation of Hillary and the Illegal surveillance of Trump. And, of course, the Clinton Foundation is the financial mother load of corruption — see Uranium One. But who did we get as AG? A man afraid of his own shadow. Notice Holder and Lynch would not ever think about recusing themselves. Instead, they made sure the honest investigation of substantive crimes would never see the light of day. How about getting rid of Sessions and replacing him with a real prosecutor? It’s not too late. There is

  29. Don’t want to repeal FISA yet.
    Trump needs it to drain the swamp.

  30. The American people have a right to know the names of every FISA Court judge so they can know who is authorizing the FBI/CIA/NSA/DHS/IRS/EPA spying campaigns against them.

    • The EPA is a spy agency now? Is this a third grade class project?

  31. Robert B Fiske was scrupulously fair and non partisan when investigating Bill Clinton, so the three judge panel of Republican judges appointed by George H W Bush and Ronald Reagan had him removed and replaced by Kenneth Starr, a staunch Republican. Republicans in Congress and President Trump are in agreement that if a Republican President is being investigated, everyone involved at the FBI and at the Justice Department should be a staunch Republican, just like Ken Starr.

    Democrats should only be investigated by Republicans since they are inherently evil.

    Since Republicans are inherently good, they should be given the benefit of the doubt, and only be investigated by fellow Republicans.

    None of the Republican majority in Congress thinks this is hypocritical. Is just good government policy.

  32. Forget the Steele dossier was originally financed as repub op research. Forget Mr. Page was warned by the FBI to stop meeting with known Russian spies but continued to do so – http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/2015_0126_spyring2.pdf
    So you are throwing shade on the FBI for doing their job? Really? Used to be Presidents were judged by the quality of the people they choose to associate with – Lets count ‘lock her up’ got locked up, Gates and Manafort indicted https://www.courthousenews.com/judge-in-russia-probe-to-meet-privately-with-gates-defense-team/ and another ‘advisor’ now federal convict https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Papadopoulos And you are questioning the competency and professionalism of FISC Federal Judges – wow talk about the hook stuck in the stomach. Fish usually don’t survive having the hook removed from the stomach – Please don’t do anything rash when the main cancer is targeted with chemo.

    • Where to start with these ignorant fools?

      First, the dossier was never financed by any Repub. The Washington Free Beacon hired Fusion GPS to do opposition research for another GOP candidate, but ended their contract with Fusion after it was obvious Trump was going to get the nomination.

      . After the GOP had stopped dealing with Fusion, the Clinton campaign and the DNC anonymously through a cutout, their law firm, Perkins Coie, hired Fusion to find dirt on Trump. Fusion hired former British spy Christopher Steele, who created the dossier, which everyone(Clinton, the DNC, John Podesta, Debbie Wasserman-SChultz, lia,Ethe DNC lawyer, Steele, Glenn Simpson, DOJ asst. Dep. AG Bruce Ohr, his wife Nellie, who worked for Fusion GPS), lied about until it came out that they were concealing that from Congress and the FISA court.

      Carter Page was an unwitting Energy consultant who was approached by Russian spies in 2013 and they tried to recruit him. The FBI talked to Page and discovered he was not compromised and he then cooperated and testified in the trial of the two Russians. Somehow, this guy you claim is a spy is not in custody, no longer under surveillance and suing the government, Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS, Yahoo news,. Mother Jones website and others.

      Gates and Manafort were not indicted for anything to do with the 2016 election. They were business partners with Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta and his brother Steve Podesta. The indictment was for running a lobbying effort on behalf of Ukrainian former President Viktor Yanukovych years before and failing to register as a lobbyist in order to avoid taxation.

      No Russian collusion just a bunch of hype and rubes like you to swallow the story.

      • Slants on the same data – no comment on the ability or lack thereof of #45 to place quality individuals so around him. A low level like a Carter Page would not even get close to a President especially if he was once the object of an FBI investigation for espionage even if cleared. Unfit for the offuce, putting a foreign agent at the head of the NSA, exposing Isreali secrets to Russians.

      • Page has never met Mr. Trump and Flynn has not been accused of being an agent of Russia, but dont let facts get in the way of your empty screeching. Now run along lib lemming, I fear that if you post anymore you may miss MSNBC for the insipid daily talking points.

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  34. Jail the guilty – start with Comey

  35. It appears our FBI and other Intelligence Agencies are corrupt and dangerous!

    Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, Strzok, Page, Bill & Hillary, along with Loretta Lynch should be subpoenaed and prosecuted!

    America First!

  36. The problem is not FISA, and its objectives. It is how to harness/limit the power of government. Structuring such institutional restraints is not simple. One approach is to limit the reach of law and public power, By design, the constitution tries to do that – individual rights are personal and beyond governments. Some power is parsed to the center, others are to the states, but absolute authority is retained by the people. It goes further, dividing management/control of legal power between the presidency, the congress, and the courts. Better management of limited central power is more practicable when limited, and focused, as it is, on national security, and foreign relations. History has produced, or surrendered, to free-ranging politicians to “herd cats.” They need to get back to basics.

  37. You are claiming a lot with out even seeing the warrant.

  38. The Laws have been broken.
    Change the Laws!

    No. Change the Men.
    Jail the losers if you must-half measures better than none.