Top Republicans say the public can expect four bombshell revelations to come out of the FISA abuse memo on Friday.
“Senior Republicans are pushing back on reports suggesting that this memo will not live up to the hype,” Fox News’ Ed Henry reported Thursday evening on The Story with Martha MacCallum. “There are four separate explosive revelations in the memo that have not leaked out ahead of tomorrow’s expected release,” he added.
Henry noted that if the claim is true, it would vindicate House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, who has “suggested that the memo will reveal by top FBI and Justice officials dating back to the Obama administration,” while top Democrats have accused Nunes of politicizing the Russia investigation to protect Trump.
According to John Solomon of The Hill, congressional Republicans are releasing the memo to make the case that the FBI’s entire Russia collusion investigation “was based on flawed or politically tainted evidence connected to partisans loyal to Hillary Clinton.”
Another document — an eight-page criminal referral filed with the Justice Department by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — is also part of the GOP case.
While the FBI has been protesting the release of the Nunes memo, it has been working behind the scenes to vet a version of the Grassley-Graham memo, which is expected to be released in redacted form soon. The FBI is also seeking redactions to the Nunes memo, though it is not clear the White House or congressional Republicans will agree to them.
Republicans believe both documents will back up arguments that evidence used to justify the FBI’s probe came from partisans loyal to Clinton, sources said. They are also expected to play into arguments from some Republicans that special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia is based on false information.
The case Republicans are trying to push forward is that the FBI investigated on “flimsy evidence” gathered by ex-British intelligence operative Christopher Steele.
A senior Republican directly familiar with the evidence told The Hill: “The fact that half to three-quarters of the evidence the FBI used to unleash the most awesome of surveillance powers upon Donald Trump’s inner circle came from sources tied directly to his Democratic opponent should worry us all, especially when that happened during an election.”
On Tucker Carlson Tonight Thursday evening, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel said the FBI launched “a counterintelligence probe into an active presidential campaign. Normally the bar for that would have to be very, very high. So if we find out that in fact even — I’m sorry — half of it, or a third of it, or a bit of it was based on partisan research from another campaign, or manufactured news that came from that campaign? That is highly troubling!”
Fox News political commentator Monica Crowley made another key point on Thursday: “This is the first of several memos,” Crowley said on Fox Business. “As bad as bad as this memo might be, my understanding is that there is worse coming down the pike.”
Investigative journalist Sara Carter reminded Hannity viewers that the counterintelligence operation had targeted Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser, and that everyone was “selectively leaking” classified information about his conversations.
“Illegal and a crime!” Carter pointed out. “And nobody’s been charged with that yet.” She also noted that there was also selective leaking on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Blackwater founder Erik Prince.