The White House having allowed a full 36 hours of media discussion time to talk through the SoU address, is poised to permit the Executive Branch declassification approval of the Legislative Branch intelligence work product.
In a last minute effort to block the executive approvals, Minority Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, claimed last night there were changes to the legislative work product.
Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes shared with Adam Schiff some minor edits to the drafted memo that resulted from the executive branch (FBI Director Wray) making a request upon initial review:
BREAKING: Discovered late tonight that Chairman Nunes made material changes to the memo he sent to White House – changes not approved by the Committee. White House therefore reviewing a document the Committee has not approved for release. pic.twitter.com/llhQK9L7l6
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 1, 2018
Counting on people not to know the FBI is part of the executive branch, Schiff claimed, wrongly, that any changes made the initial work product contrary to that which was approved for submission by the House Intelligence Committee.
A desperate attempt to stop the declassification by the White House, as quickly pointed out by Chairman Nunes:
JUST IN: Nunes spokesman says the “material changes” cited by Democrats are "minor edits to the memo, including grammatical fixes and two edits requested by the FBI and by the Minority themselves.” t.co/VMZnaV94Cb pic.twitter.com/3cbHLIKgHv
— Emma Loop (@LoopEmma) February 1, 2018
In the back-and-forth it becomes evident why we stated last week to pay attention to the process. The memo is classified legislative work product of the legislative branch. The legislative branch is asking the executive branch to declassify the memo. When Devin Nunes invited FBI Director Christopher Wray to review the memo on Sunday night he was inviting the executive branch to preview the work-product prior to submission.
It would be ordinary for any minor executive-branch-requested adjustments to be made, prior to submission/approval for executive declassification. That’s exactly what happened.
Minor adjustments were made at the request of the FBI Director prior to submission for declassification approval. Majority Chairman Devin Nunes shared those adjustments with Minority Chair Adam Schiff.
Schiff tried, and failed, to make a political issue out of a simple process.
Additionally, Minority Chair Adam Schiff, along with most corporate media, are trying to present the intelligence community (DOJ/FBI) as a fourth branch of government. As silly as it sounds, former DNI James Clapper attempted the same argument on Wednesday night during a CNN appearance. They’re not. All of the intelligence community resides under the executive branch and the Chief Executive is President Donald Trump.
The normal review for any declassification request is a review by the National Security Council, the Office of Legal Counsel (all depts); all impacted cabinet officials; all heads of potentially impacted national security departments (DOJ-NSD, FBI Counterintelligence, NSA, CIA, State, DoD etc.); along with the White House Chief-of-Staff (General Kelly).
That review complete, it’s now up to the Chief Executive, President Trump, to sign off and release. This is the formal process, and this is the process that has been followed.
As much as the formal and appropriate process annoys Representative Adam Schiff, all of the correct procedures have been followed. Additionally, the memo itself is not the biggest benefit to exposing the corruption. The real goal will be reviewing the underlying documents and evidence that support the memo. That’s phase two:
Beyond the obvious reasons, the political reason Adam Schiff is annoyed is that his party leadership is intent on selling a false narrative that President Trump is undermining the institutions of the Intelligence Community. If people accurately review events against the backdrop of factual structures of government: Legislative Branch, Judicial Branch, Executive Branch, the claims by Democrats toward “undermining institutions” fall flat.
A desire by the President to address needed structural reform resulting from revealed corruption within the Justice Department is no different than the desire by the President to reform a corrupt Veterans Affairs department. Same/Same. Both fall under the authority of the executive; both agency officials capable of gross misconduct.
The Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), Devin Nunes, (by position) is directly responsible to conduct oversight on the intelligence apparatus within the national security departments as they relate to potential FISA and FISC abuses. As a Gang of Eight member, that specific aspect of oversight falls to the HPSCI Chairman.
The person directly above the HPSCI chairman in this regard is the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Devin Nunes has followed the correct procedure for notifying the chain-of-command of a violation based on his oversight findings. Paul Ryan was notified.
Once the issue of intelligence abuse is identified via committee review, and with the House Speaker informed of the committee findings, the next step is to inform the head of the Executive Branch, that’s President Trump.
Now that President Trump has been notified of abuses within the intelligence apparatus, directly under the supervision of the executive, President Trump is compelled to take action to resolve those abuses. In the matter of this specific FISA-702 abuse, solely as an outcome of the specific DOJ/FBI conduct, the office responsible for dealing with the misconduct is also the office victimized by the misconduct.
Thus we see the historic nature of corruption within what has taken place. The intelligence apparatus of the United States Justice Department, via the DOJ and FBI was weaponized against the person running to hold executive authority over the United States Justice Department; and the misuse of the offices within the DOJ and FBI continued after the election – as the same officials sought to eliminate the person who holds ultimate accountability and authority over them.
The U.S. corporate media has been working overtime trying to cloud this structural reality by attempting to create, out of loincloth, some non-existent separation of authority between the Office of the President and the U.S. Justice Department.
The Executive Branch did not create the DOJ or FBI, the Legislative Branch did. However, when the legislative branch created those entities – they placed them directly under the Executive Branch. President Trump is the Chief Executive and he can reform any agency under his executive authority. Period.