On this episode of the Caffeinated Thoughts Podcast, host Shane Vander Hart and Caffeinated Thoughts’ senior contributor Brian Myers discuss the memo released today written by Congressman David Nunes (R-CA), the chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Justice obtained their Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants in their investigation of potential Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

“The Committee has discovered serious violations of the public trust, and the American people have a right to know when officials in crucial institutions are abusing their authority for political purposes. Our intelligence and law enforcement agencies exist to defend the American people, not to be exploited to target one group on behalf of another. It is my hope that the Committee’s actions will shine a light on this alarming series of events so we can make reforms that allow the American people to have full faith and confidence in their governing institutions,” Nunes said in a released statement upon the release of the memo.

The FISA warrants at issue in the Nunes Memo focus on the investigation into Carter Page who was a foreign policy advisor for the Trump presidential campaign.

Here are two items in the memo that Brian and Shane cause concern:

  • The FBI and DOJ utilized the Steele Dossier, a series of 17 memos compiled by former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele, paid for by Fusion GPS on behalf of their clients, the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, for use as opposition research against Donald Trump. Nunes states that the FBI and the DOJ omitted that information in their application for a warrant to the FISA Court even though it was known by senior FBI and DOJ officials.
  • The memo also revealed that the FBI authorized payments to Steele for the same information which was not revealed to the FISA Court. Also, the DOJ later learned that Steele had an inherent bias against Donald Trump becoming President.

Democrats on the committee state that the memo is full of misinformation and that the investigation into Carter Page started long before the request for a FISA warrant. They, along with the FBI, criticized the release of the memo as harmful to national security and the rule of law.

What does this all mean? Shane and Brian discuss.

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