The Nunes memo was not just a “nothing burger,” it was a double-whopper nothing burger that drew derision and disdain. It’s a pundit’s piñata, with commentators hammering the memo and its hyperventilating advocates. MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program aired a video mashup comparing the hype over the memo to Geraldo Rivera’s “Al Capone’s vault” fiasco, featuring horse poop hucksters like Sean Hannity, who said the memo uncovered “the biggest abuse of power … in American history.” That’s like conflating a sex fantasy with syphilis (Capone sub-reference intended). But the memo might inadvertently suggest Donald Trump’s greatest fear.
The memo is not only insubstantial, it’s illogical. Nunes claims the FBI submitted a misleading declaration to surveil Carter Page, a foreign policy advisor on Trump’s campaign team. He alleges the FBI failed to disclose that some of the evidence in the declaration came from a source funded by the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). “I don’t believe that somebody like Mr. Page should be a target of the FBI,” Nunes told Trump News, “especially using salacious information paid for by a political campaign…” The “salacious information” is in a dossier prepared by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, who had been hired by research firm Fusion GPS to investigate Trump’s Russian connections.