Washington Post Preemptively Kneecaps Devin Nunes's Next Memo In The Dick
he's makin' a memo right now, you can see it on his face
Devin Nunes, the very nice people at the Washington Post have done you a mitzvah! That's right, WaPo has published a long journalism examination of Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Your British Spy Boyfriend Chris Steele But Were Too Shy To Ask, and it includes all the hot gossip from the next memo Devin Nunes has been coyly previewing on Fox News.
The WaPo story is epic, weaving a narrative of how Steele went from a run-of-the-mill highly respected British spy who owned a private intel firm and ate scones and played croquet in his spare time, to a guy at the center of the greatest scandal on earth right now, the Russo-Trumpian conspiracy to steal American democracy and give it to Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and a buncha random mobsters (redundant).
Let's focus first on the Devin Nunes part. Nunes has been teasing us like a Russian pee hooker with a feather about how his House Intelligence Committee is going to do a memo on the State Department, which is weird, since the committee's primary focus isn't really State. But whatever, it's a crazy world and Devin Nunes is just ruining America in it! It sounds strange, until you learn about a guy named Cody Shearer, who wrote ANOTHER DODGY DOSSIER. That's right, the Steele Dossier has a baby brother!
In October 2016, when Steele was still in contact with the FBI -- before he backed away slowly in reaction to James Comey's disclosure of a "new" investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails 11 DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION, out of concern the FBI was being compromised in a pro-Trump direction -- Steele shared another memo with the FBI, written by Cody Shearer, a journalist buddy of the Clintons. Shearer had given it to longtime Hillz pal Sidney Blumenthal (who is well-known in the right-wing world as a person you are supposed to hate for some reason), who gave it to a guy named Jonathan Winer at State, who is BFFs with Chris Steele.
Here is some info on the Shearer memo:
The memo claimed that a source inside the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) spy agency alleged that Trump had financial ties to influential Russians and that the FSB had evidence of him engaging in compromising personal behavior, according to a copy obtained by The Post.
Steele had gotten a copy of it, so he stapled it to his own DODGY DOSSIER and sent it to the FBI, noting that he wasn't signing off on it, but that some of Shearer's conclusions, drawn from entirely different sources from the ones he had, lined up with his own conclusions quite nicely:
“We have no means of verifying the sources or the information but note some of their own is remarkably similar to our own, albeit from a completely different sourcing chain,” he wrote, according to people familiar with Steele’s message.
CONSPIRACY! Different people talked to different sources about weird-ass Trump-Russia connections, and they were all saying the same things! This is obviously a Hill-Luminati conspiracy, and could not possibly mean Trump is actually compromised by Russia.
But that's not stopping Devin Nunes and the old gross corn-obsessed version of Nunes in the Senate, Chuck Grassley, from doing a new investigation to (we're not kidding) see if Chris Steele, the seasoned spy, copied his work off Cody Shearer, who is connected to Sidney Blumenthal, who did Benghazi in the bubble bath with Hillary Clinton:
In a letter to the Justice Department released Monday, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote that the fact that “Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility.”
Have we mentioned lately that right-wing conspiracy land is a really fuckin' weird fever swamp?
Isn't it nice of the Washington Post to write this long article explaining what really happened, so that when Devin Nunes scribbles his new memo down in glue and glitter on construction paper, we can easily see which parts are bullshit, which will obviously be ALL THE PARTS? (Natasha Bertrand also has a very good explainer on the Shearer memo at The Atlantic, which is her new reporting home, so update your bookmarks.)
Taking a closer look at the WaPo epic on Steele, we see that the conspiracy was even deeper than that, because when Steele met with FBI officials in Rome back in the early fall of 2016, they nodded along with the intel he was sharing, because OMG THE FBI KNEW SOME OF IT TOO. They were in on the conspiracy!
During his meeting with the four FBI officials, Steele gleaned that the bureau had independently developed information that appeared to match some of his reports — and that the FBI was particularly interested in a young Trump campaign foreign policy adviser named George Papadopoulos, he would later tell associates. Papadopoulos had not surfaced in Steele’s research, according to his memos.
“Essentially what he told me was they had other intelligence about this matter,” Simpson told a Senate committee in August, adding: “My understanding was that they believed Chris at this point — that they believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing.”
WHOA IF TRUE! The FBI had intel on George Papadopoulos, which had kicked off the investigation into Trump and Russia (something Devin Nunes's first dumb memo admits). And they had some of the same intel Steele had, also too! This non-conspiracy has tentacles everywhere!
The WaPo piece is truly worthy of READ THE WHOLE THING, as they say on the internet. So do that, and bookmark it, so you can be good and ready to explain why Devin Nunes is #FULLOFSHIT whenever he decides to waste America's time with memo numero dos.
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