John Fund: Nunes Memo Exposes How Establishment Is Weaponizing Classified Material to ‘Bury Scandals’

National Review columnist John Fund says the controversy regarding the release of the FISA memo offers the perfect case study on how government agencies seek to “bury scandals and avoid accountability” through overclassification.

“Leaving aside all of the hyperbole and smokescreens surrounding the Nunes memo, one indisputable fact stands out. Many leading Democrats asserted confidently that the memo would expose national-security information and damage the ability of our intelligence agencies to function,” Fund wrote.

“The memo released Friday — which did not have a single word redacted — clearly contained lots of information on intelligence-agency abuses. Here’s what it did not contain: secrets vital to national security,” he pointed out.

Fund recounted the dire warnings issued by the FBI, the Department of Justice and leading Democrats such as House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff of California.

“We have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” the FBI stated before the memo’s release, adding it had not had enough time to review the four-page document.

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Additionally, the DOJ wrote Nunes that releasing the memo would be “extraordinarily reckless.”

Pelosi stated making the document public would be an act of “dangerous irresponsibility and disregard for our national security.”

In an op-ed for The Washington Post published before the document’s release, Schiff charged that it “smears the FBI and the Justice Department — all while potentially revealing intelligence sources and methods.”

The congressman added that the memo is designed to “further a conspiracy theory that a cabal of senior officials within the FBI and the Justice Department were so tainted by bias against President Trump that they irredeemably poisoned the investigation.”

As previously reported by The Western Journal, there is strong evidence senior FBI officials including Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, investigator Peter Strzok did plot against Trump. McCabe is retiring early from the bureau following the release of embarrassing text messages and Strzok was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Schiff also accused House Speaker Paul Ryan of being a party to the travesty of justice in relation to Trump, that releasing the memo portends.

What the memo actually showed is that the DOJ relied heavily on the “Trump dossier” — commissioned by Fusion GPS and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee — to obtain FISA warrants to surveil the Trump team during the presidential election and the transition.

These are facts clearly the FBI, the DOJ, and the Democrat Party did not want to see the light of day.

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In a statement issued before the memo’s release, Nunes said, “Having stonewalled Congress’ demands for information for nearly a year, it’s no surprise to see the FBI and DOJ issue spurious objections to allowing the American people to see information related to surveillance abuses at these agencies.”

He added: “It’s clear that top officials used unverified information in a court document to fuel a counter-intelligence investigation during an American political campaign. Once the truth gets out, we can begin taking steps to ensure our intelligence agencies and courts are never misused like this again.”

Fund concluded his oped, “The Nunes-memo episode should teach us that in future we should take the more hysterical claims of those who may have something to hide with a pillar of salt.”

“Of course, we should scrupulously guard against unwarranted release of sensitive information,” the columnist continued. “But we should also remember the words of Supreme Court (J)ustice Louis Brandeis who said, ‘Sunlight is the best disinfectant.'”