The memo’s preparation and public dissemination represent a profound betrayal of the central premise of the intelligence oversight system.
Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books and is co-chair of the Hoover Institution's Working Group on National Security, Technology, and Law.
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On Friday, Rep. Devin Nunes, the House intelligence committee chairman, released a controversial and long-awaited memo alleging surveillance abuses by the Justice Department and FBI against Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. In this special edition of the Lawfare Podcast, Quinta Jurecic, Orin Kerr, David Kris and Benjamin Wittes unpack the memo, its charges, and what those charges mean for the Mueller investigation and the future of surveillance oversight.
Susan and I are away this week. But Shane, Tamara and Quinta hold down the fort. They discuss major developments in the Russia probe as House Republicans move to declassify a mysterious memo and the FBI’s No. 2 steps down. A new article reveals the inner workings of the Israeli spy machine. And smart watches are giving away US forces’ locations—while they’re jogging. Plus, Shane recommends Ronen Bergman’s new book on Israeli intelligence. And Tamara says, #ImWithVictor.
We submitted a Freedom of Information Act Request to find out.
With the imminent release of the Nunes memo, the chairman's counterparts on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees face a thorny question: What should responsible intelligence committee leadership do when one of its own goes rogue—and goes rogue with the backing of a president whose concern for the matter is deeply self-interested?
Andrew McCabe has served the public honorably and for a long time. Until we see actual evidence that he has done something inappropriate, he certainly deserves the benefit of every doubt.
There will come a time to litigate the question of Rosenstein’s handling of the many bizarre questions he confronted in his role as deputy attorney general. Today is not that day.