My half-baked predictions on the Nunes memo:
- It will overemphasize the role of the Steele dossier in gaining a FISA warrant on Carter Page, ignoring or understating the use of other evidence and that the FBI had been watching him since at least 2013, as well as other Trump associates being monitored and now indicted.
- It will heavily overemphasize Rosenstein's role in renewing the warrant, because the biggest immediate purpose of the memo is to build a case for firing or forcing him out due to his refusal to undermine Mueller on Trump's behalf.
- Having convinced a gullible base through sheer repetition that the dossier has already been proven fake, Trump and toadies in Congress and the media will shriek that the entire investigation top to bottom is now corrupt and illegitimate. They will begin a drumbeat for firing Rosenstein, and either firing or completely hamstringing Mueller.
- The mainstream press will inadvertently further legitimize it by describing it as "controversial" and presenting both sides of the argument similarly with little editorial evaluation. They will be accused of massive partisan bias regardless by the same people carrying water for a President smearing federal investigators to derail a major investigation into himself.
- Lots of coordinated demands to investigate the "real scandal" involving the Obama admin gathering intel on a foreign attack on our country. Think the unmasking flap times ten. Some dog and pony "investigations" in Congress but none go anywhere other than pumping out fresh stories to eat up media oxygen.
- It will come out before long that Nunes was working directly with the White House, again, to write the memo. He's already refusing to answer whether he did so or not. The stories will be labeled as fake for reasons to be determined later or clumsily assembled on the fly.
After that, who knows. If Trump manages to kill the investigation by stacking the FBI and DoJ with lackeys we will go to a very dark place. Not sure how likely that is. But things will probably get worse before they get better.
So the Nunes Memo is out and this held up pretty well, except it's even flimsier than I expected. Rosenstein is barely mentioned, but more importantly neither is the fact that you need further evidence every 90 days to justify probable cause when renewing a FISA warrant, which happened at least 3 times with Page.
The biggest charge is a statement that McCabe testified they wouldn't have sought a FISA warrant on Page without the Steele dossier, but they don't have any transcripts to verify this, and they completely dodge the question of whether there was probable cause to grant the warrant in the first place, which is the real legal issue. If I had to guess I'd say that this is one of the major areas the FBI believes is creating an inaccurate narrative through omission.
Overall the intent seems to be trying to claim the FBI tried to rig the election by getting one specific warrant 2 weeks before the election, when Page wasn't part of the campaign at all anymore. They then sprang into action by not leaking or publicizing it, while publicly reopening the Clinton investigation and agents leaking to the NYT that the Trump camp was in the clear. It's absurd on its face but we're in pure crazy town.