Today, the House Intelligence Committee released a memorandum detailing what it sees as the FBI’s bias in the Trump-Russia investigation.
You should ignore it.
In the past few hours, I’ve read scathing criticisms about how it’s a criminal release of confidential information to the public for political gain, how it’s a partisan hit piece, and conversely how it’s reason enough to end the investigation. While it’s definitely partisan, it’s neither criminal nor irresponsible in and of itself. However, it’s not the stunning revelation it’s trumpeted to be, but instead contains absolutely nothing that hasn’t been public knowledge all along.
If you haven’t grown deathly bored of the subject already, keep reading and I’ll explain. (If you have, skip two or three paragraphs.)
This memo reveals that the roots of the Trump-Russia investigation were based in the “Steele Dossier”, which began as politically-funded opposition research. It implies in detail that the FBI had no reasonable foundation from which to begin its inquiries, and all-but-accuses the officials who decided to go ahead with the investigation of doing so with political motivations. And, from a certain point of view, that’s all true.
On the other hand, it’s meaningless.
The investigation may have been begun without a firm foundation, but it was opened legally. It met the criteria for legitimacy at the time, given the level of knowledge that was then available. After all, in order to demonstrate the ludicrous nature of the “Steele Dossier”, it did need investigating. What the memo neglects to mention is that, during the normal course of this process, more was revealed that served as reasonable foundation for further inquiries.
Imagine if you will a traffic stop: The car is pulled over because a tail light is out, but during the curbside interview it becomes apparent the driver is intoxicated. The driver can be charged — and that’s true even if it turns out the tail light was working just fine, but the officer was mistaken.
This memo is just the headline of the day. Like three of four headlines under the present administration, it’s just more distraction, a meaningless bit of confusing fluff meant to distract, and one day to add to the burden of doubt that will influence public opinion in the event of impeachment proceedings.
In short, just ignore it.