Upon learning that the White House had declined to release Rep. Adam Schiff’s “rebuttal” to Devin Nunes’s FISA abuse memo, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer intimated that the question now is “what is he [the president] hiding?”
I disagree. I think the question now is how will the Democrats’ little immorality drama play in Peoria?
Schiff carefully scripted his two-act play “Memogate” in a way that would achieve precisely this result. Claiming that the Nunes memo had omitted “material facts that were necessary for the public to see that the FBI acted properly,” but knowing in reality the claim was bogus, he went ahead and loaded up his memo with enough classified information to ensure it would be rejected as a threat to national security.
Schiff had evidently hoped against odds that his two aces in the hole — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray — would go along with his ruse and greenlight the rebuttal. Instead they did their job this time, confirming the rightness of the White House’s decision, noting that “portions of the Democratic memo … would raise national security or law enforcement concerns if released publicly.”
That hasn’t stopped the Democrats in Congress from disingenuously crying “Foul.” Schumer said in his statement:
The President’s double standard when it comes to transparency is appalling. The rationale for releasing the Nunes memo, transparency, vanishes when it could show information that’s harmful to him. Millions of Americans are asking one simple question: what is he hiding?
Schiff also remained in character, releasing a statement that shared his optimism in conferring with the FBI and DOJ “to determine how we can properly inform the American people about the misleading attack on law enforcement by the GOP … so the committee can return to its charge — fully investigating the Russian interference in our election and the role of the Trump campaign.”
The media acquitted themselves admirably in their supporting roles. CNN’s Maria Cardona convincingly evinced outage as she spoke her lines:
This is censorship pure and simple. What is so ironic … is the president was so hell bent on releasing the first memo without even seeing it. He hadn’t even seen it and he was already saying, yes, we’re going to release it immediately. What was the reason for them to release it immediately? Because it was so important for the American people to see. Transparency. It’s so hypocritical.
All that remains is to await the public’s reaction to these performances. With the president’s approval rating nearing 50% and the majority of Americans saying they find it “likely” that the Obama administration spied on Trump, Schiff and company may find themselves needing to go back into rehearsals.