11 February, 2018
A senior White House official accused Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) of intentionally sabotaging the House Intel Committee's Democratic response to the four-page "FISA memo" prepared by staffers for Committee chairman Devin Nunes.
Appearing on NBC's "Meet The Press," White House legislative director Marc Short said that Schiff included confidential sources and methods in his 10-page rebuttal which he knew would require redaction - setting the stage for Democrats to cry foul.
“We believe Congressman Schiff intentionally put in there methods and sources that he knew would need to be redacted. And if we redacted it, there would be an outcry that says the White House is trying to edit it,” Short said. “So, we said take it back, work with the FBI, clean it up and we'll release it.”
Democrats will likely point to the fact that the White House ignored DOJ warnings not to release the Nunes memo without redactions, calling it "extraordinarily reckless" without a DOJ review. That said, the FBI reportedly wanted names redacted from the Nunes memo, while the White House claims that sources and methods are divulged in the Schiff memo.
The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency. Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!
Rep. Schiff responded, tweeting "Mr. President, what you call "political" are actually called facts, and your concern for sources and methods would be more convincing if you hadn't decided to replease the GOP memo ("100%") before reading it and over the objections of the FBI.
Mr. President, what you call “political” are actually called facts, and your concern for sources and methods would be more convincing if you hadn’t decided to release the GOP memo (“100%”) before reading it and over the objections of the FBI.
In fact, the FBI did review the Nunes memo and only wanted names redacted, according to journalist Sara Carter:
Marc Short effectively confirmed this on "Meet The Press," telling the panel that the FBI's concern over the Republican memo wasn't over sources and methods, rather, the agency didn't want the names of its agents involved in "FISAgate" exposed.
“There were not sources and methods of concern in that memo. There was concern of us releasing it because they didn't want the same transparency,” Short said of the FBI.
Democrats say that the four-page memo released by GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee paints an incomplete picture of the FBI's conduct while engaging in counterintelligence operations against then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 election.
A few relevant points in the timeline...
Recall that Donald Trump was considered a joke when he announced his run for presidency. In fact, WikiLeaks emails reveal that the DNC elevated Trump to help Clinton win - thinking there's no way he would win in a final runoff vs. Hillary.
In April, 2016, the FBI is contacted by the DNC to report that they had been hacked. They hire cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, which determines it was Russian intelligence who conducted the breach
Perhaps sensing that the DNC and Clinton were about to be majorly exposed, and that Trump actually had a chance of winning the White House, Fusion GPS begins working for the Clinton campaign and the DNC in April, 2016 to provide opposition research on then-candidate Donald Trump. The deal between Clinton, the DNC and Fusion GPS is sealed by Marc Elias, a lawyer representing the DNC and Clinton.
Two months later...
June 15, 2016, Hacker "Guccifer 2.0" takes credit for the DNC hack. Later analysis would disprove this, as the CrowdStrike failed (or chose not) to catch that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s, all but confirming that the files had to have been copied locally by an inside source. Many have speculated that DNC IT staffer Seth Rich, whose murder is still unsolved, was the source of the emails provided to WikiLeaks.
Five days later...
June 20, 2016, former UK spy Christopher Steele - commissioned by Fusion GPS, (which was commissioned by Clinton and the DNC), files "The Dossier" - the first of 17 memos which relies on senior Kremlin officials and makes salacious and unverified claims against Donald Trump.
Of note - the FBI had worked with Steele for many years, however they severed their relationship after Steele went to the press with allegations contained within his dossiers.
On October 19, 2016, the FBI used Steele's unverified dossier to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on one-time Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. The warrant allowed the agency to also surveil anyone page was in communication with - including members of the Trump campaign.
"FBI noted to a the political origins of the dossier. -- now known as Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS." -