FBI Director Christopher Wray clashed publicly with Donald Trump for the first time Wednesday when he issued a statement opposing the release of the controversial Nunes memo, “As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.” On Monday Wray went with Rod Rosenstein to the White House to talk to John Kelly and that availed them little. As of last night Trump was “100 percent” sure that the memo should and would be released. New York Times:
The president’s stance puts him at odds with much of his national security establishment. The Justice Department has warned repeatedly that the memo, prepared by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, is misleading and that its release would set a bad precedent for making government secrets public. F.B.I. officials have said privately that the president is prioritizing politics over national security and is putting the bureau’s reputation at risk.
People who have read the three-and-a-half-page memo say it contends that officials from the F.B.I. and the Justice Department were not forthcoming to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge in seeking the warrant. It says that the officials relied on information assembled by a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, without adequately explaining to the judge that Democrats had financed the research.
Mr. Page, a former Moscow-based investment banker, had been on authorities’ radar for years. He had visited Moscow in July 2016 and was preparing to return there that December when investigators obtained the warrant in October 2016.
The memo release is the grandstand play in Trump Russia deflection and nothing more.
The memo has come to the forefront in a string of attempts by Mr. Trump’s allies to shift attention from the special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling and toward the actions of the investigators themselves. Republicans in Congress and in conservative media have asserted that the memo will show political bias in the early stages of the Russia investigation. […]
Democrats have called the Republican document a dangerous effort to build a narrative to undercut the department’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s associates colluded with Russians and whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice. They say it uses cherry-picked facts assembled with little or no context and could do lasting damage to faith in federal law enforcement.
According to the Times, Wray has been working quietly hoping to keep the FBI out of Trump’s cross-hairs. John Kelly waffled on the release of the memo, saying that lawyers were “slicing and dicing it.” Maybe Kelly will do the right thing at the last minute and quash the release of the memo. This is hyper Republican partisanship at its very worst. The GOP knows this memo is false and misleading and they don’t care. They’re going to use it for their political purposes, and damn the resulting damage to the institutions of government affected.