Yesterday I made the bold claim that the Nunes memo would never see the light of day, a claim that was just shattered by the declassification and release of The Memo this morning. Yes, That Memo, the one which should be placed in the annals of media shame alongside The Empty Podium.
And that memo is...nothing. It was far more valuable to Nunes before it was released. Now it's just four pages of hearsay and a staffer's fantasy about how Christopher Steele was so consumed with loathing for Donald Trump that he made up a dossier after FISA warrants were obtained for Carter Page.
So yes, it saw the light of day, and now we are hearing all sorts of nonsense about it. Like how there were so many redactions requested by White House counsel that Trump decided to declassify it without redactions. Or how it was released to Fox News and One America News Network ahead of all the other media outlets.
But at its heart, it really is...nothing. It's hearsay and assumptions, rhetoric and intentional erosion of our law enforcement institutions in the name of "law and order," a truly Orwellian moment.
Take, for example, the paragraph where they admit that counterintelligence operations began before the new FISA applications against Page. I note that this is new, because Page had been under surveillance since 2013 when he passed documents to known Russian intermediaries.
Here's conservative writer David French working through that:
And honestly, that's literally all there is. The rest of it is all ridiculous supposition and hearsay. In a different context, it would be nothing but gossip! It is grist for the Fox News conspiracy mill but take a reality check and you see there is nothing there. Nothing!
It is just like the Benghazi non-scandal, the IRS non-scandal, and the DNC emails. Lots of sound and fury, signifying nothing. ZERO.
My colleague Susie Madrak believes this is nothing more than a pretext for Trump to fire Rod Rosenstein during the Super Bowl game on Sunday. I hope she's wrong, because that is of course the precursor to firing Robert Mueller.
This is going to go one of two ways now. Either Mueller is going to accelerate his investigation and bring more to light, or we will be in the throes of a constitutional crisis none of us have seen in our lifetimes.
Or both. Both are possible. Trump is a two-bit dictator Banana Republican who wants to turn the whole country into a wasteland. The future is not pretty, but the memo is not going to drive it.