Every smart person who has read the Devin Nunes memo, on either side of the political fence, has concluded that it’s such a joke it’ll actually end up hurting Donald Trump instead of vindicating him. Trump’s legal minds have told him not to release it. House Democrats are daring him to release it. It appears Trump is going to release it anyway, because he’s an idiot. Now the Democrats are spelling out precisely how they’ll respond if he does, and it isn’t pretty.
Regardless of the political impact that the Nunes memo ends up having, the bottom line is that it contains classified information. The FBI only shared this information with the House Intelligence Committee under the agreement that it would remain secret. Instead the Republicans on the committee have shared the memo with other Republicans in Congress who were not authorized to see the intel. This means Nunes and his GOP cohorts on the committee illegally leaked classified information.
The Republican majority in Congress won’t prosecute their own members for it, of course, but now it means anyone in Congress can get away with leaking any classified information they want. Sure enough, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee and has seen a whole lot of classified dirt about Trump’s Russia scandal, now says that if Trump releases the memo, he’ll just leak everything he has.
Here’s what Wyden tweeted: “If this memo comes out, I have a long list of less sensitive, but still classified, information that the American people deserve to see.” He’s even spelling out that he’ll leak the torture report that Trump tried to suppress, as well as whom the Trump administration has been secretly spying on with FISA warrants. There may be selective redactions involved on both sides, but the bottom line is this: if Trump and Nunes begin leaking classified information, the Democrats will do the same – and they’ll win.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report