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Thomas Wood @Repoliticized
, 21 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
(THREAD--21 tweets). Okay, everybody, I TOTALLY nailed this one in my long thread last night.
1/ This morning, Sen. Dianne Feinstein published a scathing rebuttal of the letter and memo that Sens. Grassley and Graham sent to to Rod Rosenstein dated 4 Jan 2018.
2/ Feinstein’s letter concentrates on the allegation in the Grassley-Graham letter and memo that Steele lied to the FBI in some manner (G-G are vague and even somewhat incoherent about what the lie actually was: there is a lot of hand waving).
3/ But Feinstein (who has seen all the underlying documents that Grassley and Graham have) says unequivocally that the claim that Steele lied to the FBI is not supported by anything in the underlying documents.
4/ This is EXACTLY what I surmised in my long thread late last night, so I was delighted when I woke up today (I’m a night owl and am also disadvantaged by a 3-hour time zone difference so I came to it rather late) to find that I had been totally vindicated.
5/ You should read my thread (or read it again if you have done so already) in the light of the Feinstein letter.
6/ As I pointed out in my thread, the G-G memo failed to cite any *text* from the underlying documents to show that Steele had ever lied to the FBI (although it easily could have, if there had been any such text).
7/ Furthermore, as I argue in my thread, the claim that Steele was ever barred--or even could have been barred--by any agreement with the FBI from telling media contacts in the US about his own intel discoveries makes no sense.
8/ As my thread and the Feinstein letter make clear, the rupture came instead over disclosures that Steele had been in communication with the Bureau about the dossier.
9/ But that rupture didn’t occur in late September (with the Isikoff article in Yahoo News). It came later in OCTOBER, and the rupture was MUTUAL.
10/ The FBI materials submitted to Senate Judiciary Committee apparently omit to mention that STEELE SUSPENDED *HIS* CONTACTS WITH THE FBI in late October and why, but that is essential to the story.
11/ The only (very minor) correction to my thread that I would make today concerns Steele’s disclosure to David Corn (The Daily Beast) in October that he had been in contact with the FBI.
12/ The information that he did is not in the Grassley-Graham memo, but it is in the Nunes memo, and I had forgotten it.
13/ But that does not undermine in any way the main thrust of my argument, which was simply that Grassley and Graham had failed to show that Steele had lied to the FBI, or even that he had acted in any indefensible way (given his strong convictions).
14/ In my thread, I also went considerably beyond the Feinstein letter by giving a fuller timeline, and explaining why STEELE felt he had to suspend his contacts with the FBI.
15/ It is impossible to explain what is at issue in this controversy without understanding this backstory. Yes, it was a rupture, but it was a rupture that does not in any way discredit Steele (who never lied), and who felt at that point that he had to force the issue.
16/ And Feinstein, who has seen all the underlying documents, states unequivocally that Steele never lied to the FBI, and that the FBI did not lie or misrepresent the facts to FISA court.
17/ As I pointed out in my thread last night, all this is bound to come out in the wash more clearly when MIchael Horowitz, the Inspector General of the DOJ, issues his report on a related matter sometime this spring.
18/ This is an important story with legs. But if you want the bottom line in a nutshell, it is this: the Grassley-Graham memo is a nothing burger. There is nothing more to it than there is in the totally discredited Nunes memo.
19/ Republicans are grasping at straws, desperately trying to find some way to discredit Steele and his narrative about Trump-Russia collusion, which as I’ve argued all along, has been the crown-jewel of the FBI’s investigations--its “theory of the case--from the get-go.
20/ Nothing has worked (including the Grassley-Graham referral) and nothing will work for them. They are doomed.
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