Mark this date: March 13, 2018

Within a year of this given date, the Special Prosecutor’s investigation will have been concluded or will be close enough to its end so that clear contours of where it is headed will be apparent to everyone, save for diehard Trump devotees.

What next?

With each passing day, it becomes more and more obvious that Mueller has his eye on longtime Trump associate, Roger Stone. There is a slowly growing body of testimony and evidence, that Stone had foreknowledge of what was meant to help his friend; i.e. the public dump by Wikileaks of the e-mails stolen from the DNC. If Stone can be shown to have participated in the dissemination of that illegally obtained property, then he is a co-conspirator and culpable under the law. (1)

A strategic delay

There have been clear signals that the SP has stopped short of taking the final steps in his obstruction of justice case. Conservatives in and out of government have chortled that this is a sign that there was no obstruction and so, Mueller is basically “empty-handed”. This is a serious misreading of the actual state of affairs.

When a prosecutor completes a probe, s/he is obliged to announce that publicly, and to be just as explicit in setting forth the findings, including the naming of persons complicit in criminal activity. Mueller has done neither so his obstruction case remains ongoing. That still begs the question “Why the delay?”

The most plausible, albeit speculative answer (2) is that Mueller is holding back out of concern that if he brings the obstruction case as a “stand alone” and ahead of other crimes, Trump will fire him and end the entire investigation. Hypothetically then, and from a strategic point of view, the SP will come forward with his findings having to do with all crimes, including such things as conspiring with a foreign government to influence our national election, and money laundering as well. Viewed in this way, the obstruction case can be seen as being “piggy-backed” on top of more serious charges.

Place your bets

Where the obstruction case is concerned, look for a minimum of three indictments and the distinct possibility that Trump will be named as an unindicted co-conspirator. (3).

As to money laundering, Manafort will be found guilty while Gates will be found culpable of far lesser charges since he copped a deal with the SP. It would not be surprising if 45 got caught up in this criminal activity as well which harks back to his lying and empty promises about releasing his tax returns. There is something in them that he is determined to hide.

Lastly, there is the matter of conspiring with Russia. Anyone found to have been an unwitting co-conspirator will probably receive a “Get out of jail free” card. That has already happened viz a viz the unnamed US citizens who were referenced in the SP’s indictment of the 13 Russians that tried to shape our election through the use of social media.

In sharp contrast, there will be multiple witting Russian accomplices. A few, like Michael Flynn and George Papadopolous have already cut deals with Mueller and will thus dodge significant jail time. That leaves us with a very short list of willing co-conspirators, and there will be at least two of those.

End note

So again, mark the date. A year from now, let’s see if any of the foregoing predictions have become reality. If they haven’t, watch this space for an apology for jacking up your hopes, but leaving you disappointed.


  1. If I stole a shipment of something of value and then successfully enlisted you to help me distribute it for a profit, you would be an accomplice. Those hacked DNC e-mails were something of value.
  2. This line of thinking is indeed speculative because it involves inferences about what is going on inside the SP’s head, something none of us has direct access to.
  3. There has been a serious debate over whether or not a sitting president can be indicted. Mueller can keep himself out of that by naming Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator if that is warranted by the evidence.




“Competing narratives”:: Who’s winning?


Back on February 23rd, “Competing narratives” was posted at this site. It laid out the opposing cases favoring “Russian meddling and possible Trump administration involvement” on the one hand, versus “Mueller, the FBI and Department of Justice aren’t credible” on the other. The purpose of this new blog is to offer readers some sense of which narrative is prevailing, at least in the court of public opinion.

What the polls tell us (1)

Since the first of last month, there have been three relevant samplings of public opinion. The first of those (2-1-18) was conducted by CNN. Respondents were asked if they favored or disapproved of Congress enacting a law that would protect Special Prosecutor Mueller and the integrity of his investigation. Six in 10 voiced support for just such a statute.

The second poll, conducted on the same day, came out of Monmouth University. In this survey, respondents were asked if they favored or disapproved of Mr. Mueller having Trump testify “under oath”. By a whopping 82%, those sampled answered the question in the affirmative.

The third and most recent poll (2-26-18) saw USA Today tapping public opinion regarding whom they trusted most; i.e. SP Mueller or the president? While the results can be broken down into party affiliation, here is what the newspaper found more generally:  58% opined that they had “a lot” or “more” trust in Mueller vs. 45. On a second question regarding the credibility of Trump’s denials of wrongdoing, 57% registered “little” or “no” trust.


It would be simple enough to end this blog with a statement like “The poll results speak for themselves”, full stop. But, those same results tell a larger story that invites examination and analysis.

Relative to the competing narratives cited above, it seems likely that the general public has not homed in on their respective details, and may even be unfamiliar with at least some of the major names implicated. Yet, in spite of that lack of in-depth knowledge, the poll results are consistent in suggesting that it is the first of the two narratives that is resonating with at least a simply majority of respondents. How is that to be explained?

The answer can be attributed, in part, to the role of the media viz a viz the narratives and that is especially true of the cable news channels. To cite the two most striking contrasts, there is MSNBC on the one hand, and Fox News on the other. The former has devoted itself to reporting, analyzing and speculating on the broader meaning of SP Mueller’s successes which have resulted in nearly 20 indictments and the “flipping” of multiple people with ties to the Trump administration. Those outcomes cannot be explained away absent a contradictory set of facts. Thus, as the poll results indicate, facts matter !!!

In contrast to the immediate foregoing, Fox has been the major purveyor of the alternative narrative which relies heavily on the planting of seeds of doubt about the credibility of Mueller, the FBI and Justice Department. Recently, that approach has been expanded to include the drawing of dark suspicions about the functioning of the secret courts that adjudicate the requests for secret wire-tapping of US citizens by one or another member of our Intelligence community.

The impact of the Fox approach cannot be discounted. While most of the poll findings cited above put Trump in a negative light that is a view held by no better than a simple majority of respondents. In other words, there is a sizeable minority of the people sampled who have embraced the second narrative, Mueller’s prosecutorial achievements notwithstanding.

End note

There is absolutely no question that the SP will come forward with more indictments, a point made in the 3-4-18 blog (“The coming ‘Phase II’ “) posted here. It will be interesting to see how those developments are reported by the media and how all that impacts the results of the polling that will surely follow.


  1. Anyone who is interested in taking a deeper dive into the polls cited and their methodologies, need only Google “Polls:  Mueller vs. Trump”.

The coming “Phase-II”


The last blog posted here (“Competing Narratives”; 2-23-18) dealt in large part with what was referred to as “Phase-I” of Special Prosecutor (SP) Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling and possible Trump administration involvement. As part of his ongoing probe, Mueller obtained the indictment of 13 Russian nationals who made extensive use of our social media platforms to spread false information about our presidential candidates and thereby impact the 2016 election. That section of the blog ended with a statement about the prospects of a Phase-II but without specifying what that might involve. More recent developments have now shed light on that.


All indications are that the SP is seeking, or has already obtained, the indictment of a presently uncertain number of Russians who broke the law by hacking into the servers at the Democratic National Committee, stealing private communications therefrom, and then making the results of their theft public by using Wikileaks as a “cut-out” in an effort to avoid detection.

As was true in Phase-I, by making this Russian activity illegal, Mueller has laid the groundwork for criminally charging any US citizens who, in one way or another, collaborated with them. For example, if anyone sought to further/broaden the dissemination of the leaked material, they would be culpable as co-conspirators with the Russian actors. This is no farfetched possibility; there is already circumstantial evidence that at least one member of Trump’s inner circle, had foreknowledge of the impending Wikileaks dump of DNC material (1). In turn, this raises the stakes from collusion (which is not a crime) to conspiracy which most certainly is.

Are we “halfway?”

Once the contents of Phase-II become fully public, will that signal that the SP has reached the midpoint in his investigation? Maybe. There is almost certainly going to be a Phase-III which will entangle some of the people closest to 45; namely, Hope Hicks his Communications Director who recently resigned, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is now under suspicion of using his proximity to the president as leverage to both enhance his own financial situation on the one hand, but punish US allies who were unwilling to get involved in any such arrangement on the other (2) .

Watch this space for details on Phase-III and whatever comes beyond that.


  1.  Roger Stone, a longtime friend of Trump’s, preempted the Wikileaks release by boasting that its’ contents would place HRC’s campaign manager, John Podesta, “in the barrel”.
  2.  Kushner is up to his eyeballs in debt and has sought bailouts from at least four different foreign countries. One of then (Qatar), refused and soon thereafter found its own interests a target of negative policy making by 45. That was not likely to have been a coincidence.

Competing narratives

What has now emerged are two competing narratives designed to capture the minds and judgments of the US voting public. Each of the two will be presented here, starting with the easiest first, principally because it is built on evidence, some important bodies of which are in various stages of development.

Russian meddling and possible Trump administration involvement

To date, this narrative has provided convincing evidence that the Russians did interfere in our last election, and that they used our most popular social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google) to spread false information with the goal of affecting voter choices viz a viz the presidential candidates. H.R. McMaster, National Security Advisor to 45 has referred to this evidence as “incontrovertible”. It has served as the basis for indicting 13 Russians who had either left our country, or engaged in their meddling from afar. In both cases, they are presently beyond the reach of our system of justice and are likely to remain at that distance.

This “baker’s dozen” of indictments is important for at least one reason:  By criminalizing the behavior of the Russians, Special Prosecutor (SP) Mueller has established a predicate for charging any American citizen who knowingly helped them. Such cooperation goes beyond “collusion” and enters the realm of “conspiracy” for which there are laws on the books that make such activity illegal. We must wait to see if even a single person is so charged, something that hasn’t happened to date.

It is useful to think of the foregoing as “Phase-I” of the SP’s investigation. What comes next is an open question because Mr. Mueller has yet to give off any signals as to the direction “Phase-II” will take. It may bring to light, information that he has collecting from others indicted; i.e. George Papadopolous, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates and Paul Manafort.

The very last-named person is of special interest because of his previous role as the manager of Trump’s campaign albeit for only about six months. But, in that role, he potentially may know something significant about any collusion that might have taken place between Team Trump and the Russians. In that specific regard, Manafort was one of three team members who attended a July 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with Russians who allegedly promised them “dirt” on HRC.

At this juncture, it is justified to assert that there is sufficient reason for the Mueller probe to be sustained. We can safely predict that there will be a “Phase-II” and quite possibly a III and IV to follow. But, that presently leaves us with an incomplete narrative that begs a host of questions. We must hope that they will be answered, one way or the other, in due course.

Mueller, the FBI and Department of Justice (DJ) aren’t credible

Now many months old, the narrative here is that Mueller’s investigation, supported by an allegedly corrupt FBI and DJ, cannot possibly come forth with credible evidence of crimes committed by anyone in 45’s administration, especially Trump himself. The president’s supporters have cited various conflicts of interest and bias among some members of the SP’s team if not the larger Bureau and its’ parent department. These accusations were covered in some detail in previous blogs. They will not be repeated again here. What is worth reiterating is that there isn’t a shred of evidence that these conflicts and biases have so tainted the work of Mueller’s cadre that a guilty person has walked free, while innocent people find themselves in legal jeopardy.

There is one feature of this established narrative that deserves special attention. That is because it has become the focal point of both animated discussion, and as evidence that Mueller’s investigation has violated the law by invading the privacy of a US citizen named of Carter Page.

Page, for a period a member of Trump’s foreign policy advisors, had a history of interactions with Russians inside Russia that spanned several years. Having given speeches that were clearly pro-Kremlim, he drew the attention of the FBI as far back as 2013. In due course, the Bureau went through the special, secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court (named after the FISA act) and obtained permission to wire-tap Page. This permission can be renewed every 90-days but only if there is compelling evidence that the first round of surveillance bore “fruit” and thus needed to be continued. That was indeed what happened through a second and even third renewal of tapping.

The history cited in the immediately preceding paragraph brings us to what is referred to as the “Nunes memo” so-labelled after its senior author, the recused Head of the House Intelligence Committee. Nunes and three of his Republican cohorts on this committee decided that the fourth FISA request to surveil Page was illegal because it relied on unverified (raw) intelligence contained in the dossier compiled by former British spy, Christopher Steele, that had come into the possession of the FBI. According to the four (Nunes and his three GOP colleagues) this was evidence of FBI overreach and illegality. In turn, this view was used to feed the narrative that the FBI was not credible and could not be trusted (see bold-faced heading). The problem is that the Nunes memo is deeply flawed because it is based on both subjective judgment and specious reasoning, to be discussed in detail next.

To begin, the request for the fourth wire-tap of Page was built on three parts:  One was the aforementioned Steele dossier, the others on separate sources of information that the FBI had already collected on the target. It was the considered opinion of Nunes et al that the fourth request would not have been granted had it not been for the insertion of the questionable dossier into the body of the fourth request.

While we can respect the rights of the four to register a considered opinion, it can be shown that their arrival at it was based on flawed and quite possibly partisan reasoning:  Recall that the fourth request that went to the FISA court contained three collections of evidence. Therefore, any conclusion about one of the trio is completely confounded by the impossibility of separating out its’ impact from the other two. In their memo, Nunes and his cohorts simply refused to acknowledge that the FISA warrant might well have been granted free of any effect created by the Steele dossier. Following this line or logic and reasoning, the assertion offered here is that the Nunes memo has been assigned a level of importance by Trump supporters that far exceeds its actual worth. It simply does not make the case that it purports to make and by extension, a debasing of the FBI and the Mueller investigation.



Mandatory reading

If you read absolutely nothing else the rest of this entire year, use a Google search to take you to Thomas Friedman’s op-ed “Whatever Trump is hiding is hurting all of us” In the New York Times. The key phrase “Friedman Trump op-ed” should do it.

Friedman’s screed, published this past Sunday, lays out in the starkest of terms, just how 45 has failed to live up to his oath of office to protect our country; to engage in a blatant dereliction of duty as he says and does nothing in the form of leading against Russia’s assault on our country’s electoral process.(1)

The writer’s coda, his bottom line, is that we are experiencing a “code red” as the greatest threat to our democracy resides in the Oval Office. That judgment will come as no surprise to visitors who frequent this blogsite; i.e. that very point has been made here on multiple occasions, the latest being “Staggering and it’s going to get worse”, published here on February 13, 2018, and the companion “Blog extra”, published on that same date.


  1. In the recent Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, FBI Director Christopher Wray was asked if he had received any direction from Trump on dealing with Russian meddling. His response was a clear, unambiguous negative.


Blog extra!!!

This relatively short statement is being posted just two hours after “Staggering and it’s going to get worse!!” went out. This “Extra” was prompted by the evening news which picked up where “Staggering….” left off and then added some crucial information that will be cited here.

Today’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing

Seated in front of the committee were the heads of all our major intelligence agencies. Each affirmed that Russian meddling in advance of our 2018 midterm election had already begun. Then, each was pointedly asked what if any steps had been taken to circumvent this activity. The answer was basically, we have some plans and methods in mind, but their development and implementation must await a directive from the president. Then, Senator Jake Reed (D-RI) asked each if they had received any such prompt from 45? Every one of them said No!!!

Let that sink in.

In the face of universal acknowledgement that the Russians are meddling again and that the action needed to thwart such activity requires a presidential “go-ahead”, Trump has, to date, done/said nothing !!! This begs the question “Why?” Here is a very plausible answer:

By allowing the Russians to create confusion and division and thus muddle the election, Trump improves the chances that the “blue wave” cited in “Staggering” won’t take place and he will not be confronted with the prospect of being impeached by a Democratic -controlled House.

If this analysis is ever proven to be valid, then in the simplest, straightforward terms, 45 has opted to save his presidency rather than our democratic institution of free and fair elections.

Let that sink in !!!

Staggering and it’s going to get worse !!

The backstory

The 2016 election is over, Trump has won and over half our nation is in shock. This state then expands to include anger when our Intelligence community, less than two months’ later (1), makes public its firm conclusion that Russia used various means to meddle in our election; their goal to seat Trump in the White House.

The new president’s response to this revelation? It’s a “hoax…”fake news”… a “made-up story”. Since then, in the more than a year that has elapsed, not once has 45 changed that position. Not once has he come forward, accepted the considered judgment of the entire Intel community, and finally condemned Russia.  To the contrary, he has continued heaping lavish praise on Vladimir Putin, and refused to enforce new and tougher sanctions against Russia that had been initiated by Congress (2).

His reason for this latter inaction is stunning:  It was Trump’s opinion that the sanctions originally put in place by then-President Obama were proving effective in deterring further Russian meddling. Hence, another round of sanctions was not needed. Note that this claim of the effectiveness of previous sanctions was offered without a shred of supportive evidence. In fact, what will be offered next is proof that we need much more than another round of strictures.

The here and now

Earlier today, the Senate Intelligence Committee conducted a hearing with the goal of determining the extent to which Russia remains a threat to interfere in our 2018 midterm election (3). What follows are some of the key “take-aways” from what committee members heard and/or had previously learned:

+ The entire Intelligence community predicts with a “high degree of confidence” that Russia will “escalate” their meddling using “bolder and more disruptive….” tactics.

+ CIA Director Mike Pompeo said he had “every expectation” that Russian meddling would be sustained (January 1, 2018).

+ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson” asserted that the Russians were “already” engaged in follow-up activity (February 7, 2018).

+Social media platforms like Facebook are reporting a surge in messaging that has been aimed at reinforcing a narrative that Trump has been the target of an unscrupulous FBI plot to remove him from office. (4)

Everyone of those bullet points flies in the face of Trump’s baseless judgment that existing sanctions have been effective such that new, harsher ones aren’t needed.

This staggering state of affairs was best summed up today in the committee hearing by Senator Angus King (I-Maine):  “We cannot confront the threat (of Russian meddling) with a whole government response when the leader (DJT) continues to deny it exists….We are fighting a global battle with our hands tied behind our backs”.

It’s going to get worse

Experts are predicting that the coming midterm is one in which Democrats are likely to gain seats in both houses of Congress. There have even been references to a “blue wave”. This is dangerous because it serves to generate what may be unrealistic expectations about the election’s outcome. Consider these matters of fact:

+ Trump’s defenders know what is at stake if the Dem’s gain a majority in the House. Impeachment of 45 will clearly be on the table. Knowing that will mobilize his supporters and get them to the polls in droves.

+ Russian meddling, especially through the use of social media as a vehicle for sowing discontent and distrust among segments of the electorate.

+ What was once a double-digit lead for Dem’s in generic ballot polling has now dipped down into the single digits.

+ Left-leaning voters are notorious for not turning out for midterm elections.

And suppose with expectations high, the “blue wave” doesn’t materialize. What then? The likely answer is more discord, more divisiveness and distrust. If that case, we will be confronted with this question that is not new to our politics; i.e. “Can the center hold?” If not, then our democracy is in serious danger of coming apart at the seams.


  1. The Intelligence Community’s report was made public on January 6, 2017.
  2. The original sanctions imposed by then-president Obama included economic ones.
  3. The House also has an Intelligence Committee. Unfortunately, under the influence of Devin Nunes (R-CA) its’ only accomplishment has been to create a false narrative about a FBI plot to unseat 45.
  4. Russian “bots” as they have been called, are suspected of using social media to push for the release of Nunes’ false narrative (see #3 immediately above).



Trump’s self-protective “two-fer”


We are now witnessing two acts by Trump that are all about protecting his presidency over protecting our country. This isn’t even about “party”; it’s all about Trump.

Releasing the Nunes memo

This document, which has now generated an extraordinary level of controversy, is the product of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and a subset of committee Republican colleagues. They sorted through extensive material looking for any bits of information that could be strung together to form a narrative that condemns the FBI for its handling of both the investigation into HRC e-mails, and intelligence related to Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia. Not surprisingly, 45’s supporters have insisted on the memo’s release into the public domain as it puts into question the validity of SP Mueller’s probe into any possible collusion between the president and Russia.

Prompted by higher-ups in the Intel community, Deputy FBI Director Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray have warned Trump that the Nunes memo contains classified information that ought to be redacted so that it not be part of any public disclosure. Obviously, such select information would be of value to our enemies who would like nothing better than to shut down sources from which we gather information that is key to our national security.

As of the date of this blog, Trump has assured congressional Republicans that he is “100%” in favor of releasing the memo. Will it be redacted? If it isn’t, then 45 has put our national security at risk in favor of saving his own skin.

Russian sanctions? Pffffft !!!

That Russia sought to meddling in our last election is now accepted as a matter of fact. In response to that cyberattack, both houses of Congress, in near-unanimous votes, passed  new and more repressive sanctions against Russia and specific members of that nation’s oligarchy. Those sanctions were sent to Trump for review with a January 29th deadline for his implementing them. That deadline just passed without the sanctions being put into effect.

As a rationale for this inaction, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has argued that existing sanctions are already acting as a deterrent to future Russian meddling. This argument is problematic on several different levels:  (1) the claim of effective deterrence is offered without a shred of supporting evidence; (2) it flies in the face of CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s assertion that the Russians are committed to continue their meddling; and (3) by refusing to implement new and rougher sanctions, Trump is lending indirect support to the belief that he is under Putin’s control and, for whatever reason, will do the Russian leader’s bidding. If a question can be “begged”, here is one that can be screamed; i.e. “What does Putin have on Trump?”

This is extraordinary !! The new sanctions are a matter of law and 45 has chosen to not enforce it. This puts the ball squarely in Congress’ court. One avenue it can take is to pass new legislation depriving Trump of any immediate future opportunity to review the sanctions, thus forcing him to implement them or be subject to open rebuke for not doing so. To demur yet again, Trump runs the risk of  violating his oath of office; i.e. “To faithfully execute….” Add that to the growing grounds for impeachment.


Bits and pieces


Since the last posting at this site a week ago, a flurry of political stories have challenged your blogger to select one for commentary. What follows may be a better choice; i.e. a synopsis of each one of five of them.

Trump’s physical

The results of the president’s first physical as set forth by his physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, were made public. Declaring that the First Patient was in “excellent health” with intact cognitive functioning, the good doctor opined that 45 would be good for the rest of this term and even another thereafter.

This latter broad prediction flies in the face of the facts that Trump is just one pound shy of being declared “obese” according to accepted medical standards.  His regular unhealthy diet and lack of virtually any vigorous exercise (1) have both been well-documented. That he is at serious risk for a heart attack is obvious.

Historically, there have been several instances where the president’s physician has downplayed their patient’s well being. It happened with FDR, JFK, LBJ and certainly Reagan. Now we can count Dr. Ronny Jackson as yet another “minimizer”.

Too narrow a focus

No one should entertain the singular thought that any basis for impeaching Trump will rest on just obstruction of justice. What follows is a list of possible offenses that may also come into play:  perjury, money laundering, conspiracy to aid a foreign adversary, and conspiracy to subvert our electoral process. The guess here is that SP Mueller will hit 45 with the proverbial “kitchen sink”.

Conservative “talking point” deflated

As evidence of FBI bias against Trump, conservatives continue to claim that the Bureau and its agents gave HRC license to lie when they failed to put her under oath before taking testimony from her regarding her use of a private server and the messages that came to and issued from that device.

This is nonsense! Lying to the FBI is a crime whether you are under oath or not. Conservatives need to get in touch with the law relative to this matter and drop what is clearly an invalid talking point. If they want to prove FBI bias, they’ll have to find another way to do it.

Where did all that money go?

In the run-up to Trump’s inauguration, millions of dollars in donations were collected to help offset the cost of that event. Most if not all of that money has gone missing. The man  who at least nominally had control over those funds was Rick Gates. If that name rings a bell it’s because Gates has already been indicted by SP Mueller for money laundering. Hmmm!

More GOP conspiratorial machinations

There’s a need not to tar all Republicans with the same brush. Rather, the focus here is on a subset of those that sit on the House Intelligence Committee. Led by Devin Nunes, this “rump group”, working behind closed doors, sifted through reams of documents and testimony. They were looking for any bits of evidence, however small and tenuous, that they could selectively take out of context, and use as a “hook”on which to hang their latest conspiracy.

Briefly put, the conspiracy unfolds thusly:  Prior to the 2016 election, then-President Obama presented the secret FISA Court with what he claimed was substantiated intelligence that justified the covert wiretapping of Trump intimates. But, according to the aforementioned Nunes, said intel had not been verified making Obama’s assertion bogus and the surveillance, conducted by the FBI, illegal.

Nunes and his cohorts took their slivers of selectively gathered information, created a 4-page memo in support of their theory, and loudly announced what they had done. This generated a demand for the public release of the memo along with a call for punishment for those who had so egregiously and unlawfully invaded the privacy of one or more US citizens. How dare they? This was advertised as “Worse than Watergate” !!

Before Nunes could release the memo for public consumption, he was warned by the Justice Department not to do so until the contents of the document could be reviewed to ensure that it did not contain classified information which it actually did. This left Nunes up a stump; he had created a furor for the release of the memo, but now couldn’t move forward without putting himself in legal jeopardy. What to do, what to do?

Nunes went shopping, looking for someone who could release the memo without getting cross-wise with the law. No such person existed. As a result, as of today’s date, the document remains in Nunes’ hands, out of the public domain though its contents have been shared with various Republican members of Congress. In turn, they have taken to inform anyone within earshot that the memo’s contents show how corrupt Obama and the FBI were and are. No specifics are offered; it’s a “take my word for it” proposition.

The fundamental  problem with all this, is that the underlying claim about unverified intel is a fiction. By the time the FISA warrant for surveillance had been issued, there was ample evidence to support that action. It came from our own Intel community and those parts of the Steele dossier that had been verified.


  1. Riding in a golf cart, no matter how often you do so, does not qualify as “vigorous exercise”.