January 30, 2018

When I heard last night about the Republicans releasing only their side of the FISA memos, I lost it.

What the hell is happening to my country?! Am I going crazy?

Thank goodness Charlie Pierce and Jill Wine-Banks were on All In. They made me feel better just for saying that even for seasoned on-air professionals, they're scared out of their minds, too.


JILL WINE-BANKS: ...I feel like I'm on the Titanic and the iceberg has been sighted, and we're trying to avoid a collision. I know I'm going to disappoint many viewers and many people who follow me on Twitter. This is one of the worst days that I have seen. It really makes me frightened for democracy that we could have a one-sided classified memo released and not have the other side. That would be like being in a trial and saying after only the prosecution [has presented their case], let's let the jury decide. No matter how thin a pancake, it has two sides and you have to make a reasonable decision of what they are hearing and what this means. None of us knows what's in the memos. It's a risk to release them because of the classified nature of them. If you release one, you have to release both. You cannot let the American public sit and linger on what could be a totally false, out of context report. So I am really frightened for the first time in this investigation.

CHRIS HAYES: There was, you know, there were a lot of Members of Congress I want to follow up, Jill, with you and come back to you, Charlie. A lot of Members of Congress during Watergate, Republicans that did carry water for President [Nixon] who backed him and Ronald Reagan backed and George HW Bush and they said this Watergate stuff is nonsense, let's wrap it up. Was there anybody doing what Devin Nunes is doing?

JILL WINE-BANKS: We've reached a completely new level of insanity. It's none of the kind of toadying that is going on now where people are lying and putting themselves at risk for being part of a coverup by participating in the way they have. And remember, it was the Republicans who ultimately went to the president, President Nixon, and said we have seen the evidence. It is clear. You will be voted and convicted if this goes to a vote. You should resign, and he did resign the next day. So I think this is a completely different thing. I cannot think of anything that comes anywhere close to what Nunes is doing and how he's working clearly with the White House on this. This goes back to his first time when he released a document as if it was a big revelation to the White House when they were the ones who got it. It was a big sham and a fraud and that's -- you know, I don't know what's in this classified document. Frankly, I don't want a document that will put us in danger in terms of the national security by releasing the methods of operation for the warrant. This is not a good thing for democracy, and if they are going to go ahead with one, all I'm saying is you have to put it in context. It has to be fair.

CHRIS HAYES: We should note they voted against a briefing from Christopher Wray at the FBI. There is a school of thought, Charlie, that Trump in some ways even if he has proclivities towards strong man behavior, he's been stymied in a lot of ways. He's not deft enough in the manipulation of government the way Nixon was, who was experienced at it, to get his way. Does that comfort you at all?

CHARLIE PIERCE: Not at all, because sooner or later he'll catch on that nobody is standing in his way. Even before the episode that Jill mentioned, which was probably the denouement of the Nixon affair, on the Irvin committee, you had Baker asking the most famous question of all time and you had Republican Lowell Weicker, essentially roasting John Erlichmann on a spit.

HAYES: Right.

PIERCE: You don't have those guys in the Senate right now. I don't -- I think that it's -- I think if Trump fires Rosenstein and tries to base it on this memo -- and Devin Nunes, by the way, is famous for incredibly shoddy memos long before we got to this, he wrote one on Edward Snowden -- if he fires Rosenstein based on this memo, it will be a sign. I don't think the explosion -- the explosion will be ongoing if he does fire Mueller but will begin if he fires Rosenstein because there is absolutely no reason for him to do that except to get somebody in there to fire Mueller.

HAYES: Yeah, if the memo's publication leads to some sort of move against Rosenstein, then I think we'll know what we're watching even though it seems clear what we're watching.

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