Democrats have been describing the release of the Nunes memo as a clear and present danger to the United States. In doing this, they just magnified the significance of the memo. We can expect a Democratic memo trying to repair the damage, but this is likely to consist primarily of other documents that are actually irrelevant. For example Peter Strzok did help write the second letter Comey released regarding the Hillary Clinton e-mails. Democrats argue that this proves he was not pro-Hillary. It is an absurd argument likely to be ignored by everyone but CNN.
The bottom line is this. The Hillary Clinton campaign paid Fusion GPS for the Russia Dossier. This was compiled by Christopher Steele, who is on the record as despising Trump and being desperate to prevent him from being President. Steele met with Yahoo news and leaked the same information to them that he typed in his dossier. The New York Times published a story reporting these “facts” from an unnamed source. The FBI used this dossier to get a FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page which allowed them to spy on the entire Trump campaign and transition team. They also cited the New York Times article, based on the same questionable source, as corroborating evidence in support of the FISA warrant. Many of the “sources” used by Steele were paid informants with direct connections with Russia. In summary this is smoking gun evidence that the Hillary Clinton campaign colluded with Russia to influence a Presidential election.
Expect a lot of smoke and mirrors from CNN. They had Jane Harman and Mike Rogers on today, both trying to defend the intelligence agencies. However, neither of them described this chain of events as remotely acceptable. Neither of them disputed any of the facts. They were only upset that this impugned the integrity of the system itself. But Nunes did not impugn the entire system; he just said that in this specific instance the system was abused by senior members of the FBI. Mike Rogers said that if the FISA court believes that they were misled by the FBI, they will be absolutely furious. I think that will be the next shoe to drop. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the FISA court respond very strongly to this memo. Don’t be surprised if they throw Andrew McCabe under the bus. If it is a choice between defending the court’s integrity and the integrity of Andrew McCabe, the decision will be really easy.
Democrats are also arguing about what McCabe actually testified to in a closed-door hearing. One will note just this week Adam Schiff materially misrepresented what was said in an Intelligence Committee meeting only to be rebuked by the actual transcript. CNN would be wise to avoid getting out over its skis on anything said by Adam Schiff. In addition, Nunes has a copy of the actual FISA warrant so he KNOWS the facts here. It is unlikely that the exact words spoken by McCabe are even material. The FISA warrant speaks for itself.
What will ultimately make this worse is that Republicans appear to be sitting on a mountain of evidence of abuse by the FBI and other intelligence agencies and this appears to be the tip of the iceberg. The captain of the Titanic can provide guidance on the dangers of ignoring the size of an iceberg.