This is pretty big news. You surely remember the #ReleaseTheMemo moment, and the subsequent memo releases. (But just in case you don’t, here’s the memo.)
At the heart of the Nunes memo, and the subsequent Demo Memo, is the question of what the FISA application used as justification for the surveillance of Carter Page.
Namely, it’s the question FISA abuse and the Steele dossier. Or, as it is stated in the actual Nunes memo, to “1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.”
The subsequent Democrat memo was meant to discredit the GOP one.
BUT NOW we may have something much better than dueling memos (what isn’t better than that?), in that there may be the actual FISA application in question. The actual thing. So reports USA Today.
The government is considering an unprecedented disclosure of parts of a controversial secret surveillance order that justified the monitoring of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
It is unprecedented. No processed FISA application has ever been released to the public before. That’s sort of a feature of the system. They are called “secret” after all.
Nevertheless, USA Today goes on, they are considering it:
The release of both memos, Justice lawyers wrote Friday, requires “the government to carefully review FISA materials related to Carter Page to determine what information contained in them has been declassified and whether any such declassified information can be released to the plaintiff in response to its (freedom of information) request.
“That review is ongoing,” Justice lawyers said, asking the court to approve a July 20 deadline for Justice’s National Security Division and the FBI to complete the examination. “The government does not make this request lightly.”
If documents related to the FISA applications along with orders issued by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court are identified for release, Justice lawyers said that it may be necessary to ask the secret court for an order to formally unseal the documents for public release.
Whoa. If you click through and read the whole thing it hits you more.
The fine folks at The Right Scoop have a tendency to say BOOM, but I think it’s safe to say the release of the actual application would be a Texas-sized KABOOOOOOOOOM. Earth-shaking, if not -shattering.
And don’t hang your hat on the “may” translating as “probably won’t.” Anyone who is familiar with government legal processes will know that even the mere acknowledgement that they are considering it means that consideration is considerably far down the path. This could very well happen.
Of course, we’ll see. But it could.