We Have Known For Weeks What Was In the Nunes Memo

Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom via ZUMA

I’m not going to flood the zone on the Nunes memo. Others can do that. But I want to highlight a point I made in the previous post: we’ve known what was in the memo for weeks. There have been hundreds of stories about it, and the actual charges it lays out are so weak that they’ve usually been treated as just a brief aside. The main story has always been about the partisan fight over releasing the memo.

In other words: we’ve had weeks to mull over the possibility that the FBI’s FISA application for Carter Page relied partly on the Steele dossier, and nobody has cared much. There have been no blaring headlines about it. There have been no experts telling us that this is a bombshell. It hasn’t spawned any new reporting, or if it has, the reporting has come up dry. The accusations in the memo just aren’t very important even if they’re true.

So now the memo is out, and it says what we all thought it said. Nobody cared very much before, so there’s no reason to care very much now. It’s all just spectacle.

And by the way, here are the Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee:

  • Devin Nunes, Chairman
  • Mike Conaway
  • Peter King
  • Frank LoBiondo
  • Tom Rooney
  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
  • Michael Turner
  • Brad Wenstrup
  • Chris Stewart
  • Rick Crawford
  • Trey Gowdy
  • Elise Stefanik
  • Will Hurd

Remember those names. Intelligence committees have long been the last refuge of serious, bipartisan congressional work. These are the people who have destroyed that.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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