The Slatest

GOP Releases Classified Memo Accusing Steele of Violating Confidentiality

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 09:  Rep.  Devin Nunes (R-CA) attends a House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republicans tax reform plan titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act., on Capitol Hill November 9, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) attends a House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republicans tax reform plan titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act., on Capitol Hill Nov 9, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

On Friday, House Republicans released a memo accusing the FBI and the Department of Justice of omitting “material and relevant information” in its applications to surveil Carter Page with a FISA warrant. Those omissions were so grievous, Devin Nunes and his fellow Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee said, that they warranted releasing a classified memo despite the FBI’s grave concerns.

Among those omissions, the memo says, was the fact that Christopher Steele—who compiled the dossier delineating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia—“was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign.” The document went on, with great umbrage, to cite another damning concern about Steele:

Steele’s numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source handling—maintaining confidentiality—and demonstrated that Steele had become a less than reliable source for the FBI.

The internal logic here is pretty easy to follow. Per the terms of the memo, breaching confidentiality is bad when that breach reveals bad things about Donald Trump, but it’s good when you want to leak a memo that calls people out for revealing bad things about Donald Trump.