Donald Trump’s earlier foolish decision to rely on Devin Nunes has now forced him into a no-win choice: either release the Nunes memo and face the consequences, or don’t release it and face never-ending questions about it. By all accounts, Trump is going to release the memo. This means that after having been brought to the brink by a complete idiot like Nunes, Trump is now betting everything he has left on another idiot: Carter Page.
Yeah, that guy. The bald guy who randomly appears on MSNBC and confesses to a new crime every time. The guy who has admitted to the media that he’s associated with Russian spies in recent years. The guy who went to Russia while he was a Trump campaign adviser and met with a Russian government official, then lied about it for months, then finally admitted he was lying. Trump has bet his presidency and his life on that guy’s merits.
The Nunes memo is centered around supposed abuses by the FBI in its use of FISA warrants to surveil Carter Page. Now that Trump has decided to release the memo, his apologists in government are already trying to explain how the memo somehow exposes FBI abuses in general. Paul Ryan is floating the notion that if the FBI can spy on Page, next it’ll spy on you and me. The trouble with that logic: we’re not Carter Page.
Have you ever given documents to Russian spies? Have you traveled to Russia and met with foreign officials while you were working for a U.S. Presidential candidate? If you’ve answered yes to all of the above, then you should really be worried that the FBI might have a secret FISA surveillance warrant on you. But guess what? If you’ve done the things that Carter Page has done, there should be a surveillance warrant on you. We still don’t know if Page’s highly suspicious antics translated to actual crimes. But that’s what the warrant is for. There’s certainly probable cause.
Donald Trump is on the ropes. His presidency is failing. He’s in danger of going to prison, not only for his original crimes, but for the subsequent crimes he’s committed (and is still committing) while trying to cover up the original crimes. He’s taking desperation shots because he knows he’s about to lose. Now he’s betting everything, his presidency, his future, and even his freedom outside of a prison cell, on the notion that the average American is going to believe the FBI shouldn’t have had a surveillance against Carter Page. Good luck with that.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report