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The Morning Briefing: 'Memo Day Weasels and Liars' Edition

Happy possible memo release/Groundhog Day!

Here is what's on the President's agenda today:

  • The President will receive his daily intelligence briefing in the morning
  • President Trump will then meet with North Korean defectors
  • Afterwards, the President takes a tour of the Customs and Border Protection National Targeting Center
  • President Trump will then participate in a Customs and Border Protection roundtable
  • The President will return to Washington D.C.
  • President Trump and the First Lady will depart Washington, D.C., en route to Palm Beach, FL

Hysteria level surrounding memos continues to surge

The theatrics surrounding the release of the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) memo are truly a sight to behold. Rumors are that the memo will be released today, despite a heroic, often surreal effort to stop its disclosure. The HPSCI has a duty to provide oversight of the FISA Court and the public needs to know if the government leviathan is not obeying the legal restrictions on its might. All these protests against transparency suggest the contents are even worse than has been suggested.

Fired FBI Director James Comey, who is most certainly implicated in the memo, shared his surprising anti-memo animus on Twitter.

Weasels and liars never hold the field. Indeed, Mr. Comey, and you are off of the field. What will you say when the public learns that you signed off on campaign propaganda, propaganda you characterized as "salacious and unverified," to be used to trick the FISA Court into granting surveillance on American citizens involved with a political campaign? There won't be any streets, buildings, or schools named after you either.

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta also joined in the anti-memo fervor, claiming there will be a constitutional crisis if Trump green lights the memo release.

"There is no question, Chuck, that it is breaking down the process as it was designed to work so that all sides would have say in the process," Panetta said on MSNBC's "MTP Daily."

"We have check and balances. But you have to establish ways for those checks and balances to work," the former Obama administration official continued.

"When that starts to break down, when the president says I’m going to release it no matter what the FBI says, or what the Justice Department says, then it creates what I consider a constitutional crisis," he finished.

We have checks and balances, and those checks and balances involve congressional oversight. When we disregard those safeguards in favor of political expediency, then we have an actual constitutional crisis. Panetta thinks it's appropriate for the "checks and balances" to come from the agency under suspicion, rather than a separate branch of government. Does he really expect us to believe the agencies implicated in the oversight process can police themselves? I'm sorry but that just isn't going to work for me.