The smearing of Christopher Steele

In his effort to malign the U.S. Justice system and confuse the American people in a hail-Mary attempt to protect President Donald Trump, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes seems to also have confused himself.

As we now know, the intent of Nunes’ memo was to suggest that the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign was undertaken on false premises. It alleges that the FBI abused its surveillance authority by issuing a warrant to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page by basing its rationale on the controversial Steele dossier. It implies that the British intelligence officer behind that memo, former MI-6 operative Christopher Steele, and those who supported the warrant were biased against then-candidate Trump, and that the FBI and Justice Department purposely withheld that information—and the Democratic funding behind the dossier—in an attempt to gain the warrant.

Like many observers, I was underwhelmed by the memo. Given all the hype and high-level attention, I wasn’t expecting quite such a lame effort. The memo is little more than a partisan hatchet job, and others have already made mincemeat of the many false assumptions, cherry-picked arguments, poorly articulated conclusions and poor reasoning.