Republicans have been clamoring for the release of a memo written by Representative Devin Nunes alleging abuses of power in the investigations into Russian interference during the 2016 election. The ultimate goal of this entire charade is to undercut the Mueller investigation’s credibility and allege that it has been politically motivated from the very beginning. Don’t take Democrats’ word for it: President Trump himself has reportedly seized on the memo as a way to discredit the Russia investigation.
The memo could also be used as a pretext to fire Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general overseeing the investigation, or special counsel Robert Mueller himself. But as this saga nears its end—the memo could be released as soon as today—some plot twists have occurred.
A series of leaks have come out in the past 24 hours, in response to the growing anti-FBI and anti–Justice Department statements being made by Republican officials. Some have been public. The FBI released a statement on Wednesday condemning the effort to release the memo, citing “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.” On Wednesday, it was also leaked that Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who has come under fire for sending anti-Trump texts, authored an early draft of the memo announcing the reopening of the Clinton investigation—a document that played a significant role in Trump’s election.
And late Wednesday, Democrat Adam Schiff alleged that Nunes secretly altered the memo that was submitted to the White House.
The Nunes memo was never credible to begin with, but its credibility is now completely shot. Of course, the point of the memo was never that it was credible. The point was that it would give ammunition to the president’s defenders and create chaos in Washington. Which is exactly what’s happened.