The following are the insights and opinions of a former senior congressional staffer who is now enjoying what he calls the “…happy uncertainty of a self-imposed semi-retirement.” He spent nearly eleven years working on Capitol Hill, arriving there shortly before Barack Obama became president, and then leaving shortly after Donald Trump succeeded him. His extended family’s ties to prior administrations go back decades – at the highest levels. Now approaching middle-age, (ancient by D.C. staffer standards) and despite all that time in the belly of the “D.C. beast” he still manages to look younger than his years. He’s quick to laugh, slow to anger, and enjoys the occasional (and most often inappropriate) joke while also being an occasional (and always highly valued) D.C. Whispers’ source. His contact list is an impressive whos-who of D.C. power players (a benefit of his political pedigree of which he readily admits he had nothing to do with) including both active and retired politicians, staffers, and (too many) lobbyists. (He feels most lobbyists are decent people working in what he calls an epically f*cked up system.) He has attended two inauguration balls, four Congressional retreats, (to which he says members of Congress drink – a lot) and seven State of the Union addresses.
He’s also good friends with a since-departed network news/entertainment television talent who has been more than willing of late to spill the goods on any number of subjects and says he might be convinced to share some of those stories here as well.
First and foremost, though, is his deepening concern over what is taking place in the city he used to call home, Washington D.C., and the country he loves – America.
Let me start off by saying I don’t know Devin Nunes much beyond his reputation. Our paths never really crossed, though, I knew one of his short-time staffers in a kinda-sorta way. She was young and pretty, and not all that smart. She liked to drink rum and coke – heavy on the coke. Nunes is a California Republican which right there kind of makes him an endangered species. It’s still weird to think that Ronald Reagan won California in 1984. (along with most every other state including New York!) He was the last Republican to do that. It’ll never happen again. Ironically I think it’s largely due to the Reagan Amnesty bill of 1986 that accelerated California into Democrat-only territory come election time which means that it’s possible the greatest Republican president of the 20th Century also laid the groundwork for the party’s impending doom.
I’m getting off-track here. I apologize. What I want to talk about is how the Nunes memo, the one the media was so determined to curb-stomp into oblivion, isn’t the memo we should be paying attention to. I’m not saying Congressman Nunes doesn’t deserve some credit. He absolutely does. He helped to get the ball rolling on what is in my humble opinion, the single-greatest election scandal in the history of this nation. And the memo that confirmed THAT came from two much bigger D.C. heavy-hitters than Devin Nunes: Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham. I’m convinced that’s why the Grassley-Graham memo has been largely ignored by almost everyone in the media – because it matters. It not only confirms what was laid out by the Nunes memo, but expands upon it in such a way as to make the calls for a full-blown investigation into what took place before, during, and after the 2016 Election, a moral obligation.
Here is why I think that.
First, the FISA Court had no business signing off on the Carter Page surveillance request that was made by the Obama FBI/DOJ. The merits of that request were so shoddy as to make it laughable. And yet the FISA Court DID sign off on it and that was the vehicle by which the Obama administration then proceeded to surveil the entirety of the Trump campaign. That’s an abuse of power that (almost) leaves me speechless. And I’m a talker!
Second, the Grassley-Graham memo further solidifies the link between foreign agent Christopher Steele of the infamous fake Trump Dossier and the DNC, the Clinton campaign, Russian chaos operatives, and the Obama White House. (It’s my understanding Steele had contact with the John Kerry State Department which was in turn, coordinating with the White House and the Clinton campaign on the Trump campaign surveillance operation.) This is the reason the media has ignored it. This is the reason the FBI originally redacted it to the point of oblivion. The connection of all this to the Obama White House is very real and they all know it.
Finally, the Grassley-Graham memo uses specific testimony evidence to support its own evidence – something the Nunes memo did far less of. For example, there is this section of the Grassley-Graham memo that I know is creating all kinds of heartburn to former members of the Obama administration:
“…When asked at the March 2017 briefing [of Judiciary Committee leaders] why the FBI relied on the dossier in the FISA applications absent meaningful corroboration — and in light of the highly political motives surrounding its creation — then-Director [James] Comey stated that the FBI included the dossier allegations about Carter Page in the FISA applications because Mr. Steele himself was considered reliable due to his past work with the Bureau.”
I don’t want to lose anyone in the weeds here but what the head of the FBI testified to before the Senate was that he basically took Carter Page at his word and ignored all of the other bias that was swirling around Page which would normally have made him someone clearly not worthy to be used as justification for making a FISA warrant request. There is really only one credible explanation for this – Carter Page was hired to create something that was used as justification to provide legal cover for what was a highly illegal surveillance program against the opposition candidate of a sitting President of the United States. James Comey attempted to explain this all away by basically saying, “We believed Carter Page because Carter Page assured us he was believable.” And please don’t forget that through all of this, James Comey and the other high-ranking FBI officials involved (some who still remain at the FBI) neglected to inform the FISA Court of the Clinton campaign’s direct involvement in the Trump Dossier, Fusion GPS, etc. (The Clinton campaign was Fusion GPS’s most important client at the time.)
This deception links them all together in a vast collusion of conspiracy. From James Comey to John Kerry, to Hillary Clinton, to Barack Obama – they were all in on it. Every damn one of them.
That is the big red arrow the Grassley-Graham memo points to; the highest levels of government and law enforcement were involved in attempting to bypass the American voter in 2016. And it’s a big reason for the Schiff counter-narrative memo that he rushed out there. The memo was put together (in about 48-hours) in such a way that he knew a national security review would require revision. That intended requirement would then be used as a distraction from the far more important and accurate Grassley-Graham memo.
I’ll add just one more thing. I don’t think it’s the first time they’ve done this sort of thing. I can still very clearly remember something that happened about a week after the 2012 Election cycle. I ran into a congressman who had just won a very tough re-election campaign. I knew his family through his son. We had gone to the same school for a few years when we were both teenagers. It was just the congressman and me in the elevator. I congratulated him on his victory. He smiled and said thanks. I could tell the smile was forced. Then I congratulated him on President Obama’s re-election. This time he didn’t smile and he didn’t say thanks and as he walked out of the elevator he said, “F*ck that White House.”
I chalked it up to typical D.C. bad feelings. The cause of that could be anything – happens all the time. Lots of egos and pressure. A few years later I ran into the congressman’s son and mentioned it to him. He went on to explain how on the night of the 2012 Election some on the congressman’s campaign team were pouring over the incoming voting data. This is on-the-ground stuff, exit polls layered over previous private polling results, etc. It was a really tight race and everyone was one edge. At some point after it looked like the congressman was going to win, someone decided to dive into the presidential side of the numbers. This is just for that particularly legislative district mind you. These people knew how that district tends to vote. Some on the congressman’s team had been working campaigns in that district for the last ten elections. They had a very strong grasp of historical trends based on age, race, gender, religion, income, newly registered, absentee estimates, all of it. Well something in that process was found that caused a closed door meeting with the congressman to take place. The son wasn’t allowed to be in that meeting which was unusual because he had been a part of the campaign from the beginning. He said some faces looked very grim which was odd because they had just won. Everyone should have been celebrating – but some of them weren’t. A call to Chicago was made. He was told that personally. An hour later the head of that state’s Obama re-election team arrived and there was another closed-door meeting. About twenty minutes after that two men the son is convinced were Feds show up. There was yet another closed-door session but this one was shorter – maybe ten minutes. The two men leave. In between all this the congressman had to make his victory speech. He kept it short and it wasn’t a particularly happy one. People were told he was just exhausted. The night ends. Everyone goes home.
The next morning guess who gives the congressman a personal call to congratulate him on his election victory? The President of the United States – Barack Obama. When I asked his son what he thought had happened that night all he said was, “They cheated.” When I pressed him for more information he became dismissive, changed the subject, and a short time later we went our separate ways. His dad is still in Congress and is once again running for re-election. I saw him on TV sitting in the House chambers during President Trump’s State of the Union address. Like all the other Democrats, he wasn’t clapping. Guess he’s back to be being a loyal foot soldier.
The big difference with 2016 is they got caught and the man now sitting in the Oval Office doesn’t play by their rules.
That still doesn’t mean they’ll pay a price – at least not the major names involved. But if you want to know what’s concerning them the most right now it isn’t the Nunes memo.