By: Najee Walker
By now, there is perhaps no one left who hasn’t heard about the memo introduced by Republican of California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes. The four page memo, which was released despite the objection of many people on the left, suggests that the surveillance of Carter Page, a Trump campaign foreign policy advisor, was improperly authorized and politically driven.
The memo alleges that the surveillance of Page heavily relied on the Steele dossier, a document prepared by former British spy Christopher Steele. The dossier was partly financed by the Clinton campaign, which the memo cites as a major issue–despite the fact that we now know that the dossier was also paid for by Republicans during the 2016 election.
Arguably, Republicans may have a point, our surveillance systems through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) may need to be looked at once more. However, despite his claims, what the memo does not vindicate President Trump or any of his campaign associates in regards to the Mueller investigation.
In fact, the consequences of this memo are perhaps rather simple.
Republicans believe that there are serious implications within the released memo, and wanted it released as soon as possible. Democrats believed that there was nothing implicating or otherwise special about the memo, and said it would be a waste of time. Now that the memo is released, the Democrats wish to offer a rebuttal in order to get “both sides of the story.” The Democratic memo has been sent to President Trump to either block or let pass, so that the public can learn more.
Trump seemed excited to release the Nunes memo, but has not said much about the Democratic one since it was sent to him.
However, it seems that this has had the opposite effect. While Democrats and Republicans seem to focus on the memo, so too does the media, and Nunes knows that.
According to Republicans close to Axios say there could be as many as five additional memos.
So, with a total of some six or seven memos likely about to hit the media, there is just one distraction after another, and it will likely continue.
Aside from the distraction that the memo is causing, it adds salt to the wounds of American intelligence agencies. Since the memo’s release, polls say that about 47 percent of Republicans say they do not trust the FBI.
Trust in the FBI has been falling since 2015, however, in the Trump-era, it seems that there is just one more nail in the coffin everyday. With the Nunes memo, and whatever memos that may follow, that 47 percent will undoubtedly grow.
Similarly, some on the House Intelligence Committee, believe that these memos will only continue to cause infighting within government. Representative Eric Swalwell, (D-Calif.), is asking that Nunes step down as chairman of the committee, due to concerns that Nunes’ memo has harmed the committee.
Swalwell illustrates the point well. That the memo has done nothing, but distract both the public and America’s elected officials, and will continue to do harm so long as there are still conversations surrounding it.