To a great extent I have taken my bearings on the synthetic scandal of alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign from Andrew McCarthy. He knows what he is talking about. He is not a victim of Trump derangement syndrome. He does not seek the removal of Trump from office on a pretext.
In his current NRO column he takes a look at the Grassley/Graham memo that we posted (in the “less redacted” form) here and observes: “In a word, the Grassley-Graham memo is shocking. Yet, the press barely notices. Rest assured: If a Republican administration had used unverifiable hearsay from a patently suspect agent of the Republican presidential candidate to gull the FISA court into granting a warrant to spy on an associate of the Democratic nominee’s campaign, it would be covered as the greatest political scandal in a half-century. Instead, it was the other way around….”
Please read the whole thing. It is devastating.
As much of the relevant information remained out of public view, McCarthy has applied a sort of presumption of regularity to the case. Knowing the legal requirements necessary to support it, he assumed that there must be something more to support the FBI’s warrant applications than the dodgy Steele Dossier by itself. If there were no more, that by itself would be a scandal. He simply could not believe that responsible authorities at the FBI and the Department of Justice would do what they are now shown to have done by the Grassley memo. He writes:
I spent many months assuring people that nothing like this could ever happen — that the FBI and Justice Department would not countenance the provision to the FISA court of uncorroborated allegations of heinous misconduct. When Trump enthusiasts accused them of rigging the process, I countered that they probably had not even used the Steele dossier. If the Justice Department had used it in writing a FISA warrant application, I insisted that the FBI would independently verify any important facts presented to the court, make any disclosures that ought in fairness be made so the judge could evaluate the credibility of the sources, and compellingly demonstrate probable cause before alleging that an American was a foreign agent. .
McCarthy concludes the column with a confession that is as pointed as it is rare in our business: “I was wrong.”