The Santa Clara
February 8, 2018
It is a great day for the President and an even better one for America. We can all finally rest easy knowing all the talk of Russia, Russia, Russia is about to stop. In a wild turn of events, Donald Trump has been completely absolved of any suspicion of collusion during the presidential race. Hate to break it to you, liberals, but your witch hunt is officially over.
As it turns out, the whole American intelligence community had a collective personal vendetta against the President, and the entire past year of methodical investigation has actually been a sham. It was all a cold, calculated ploy by the left to undermine Trump’s presidency because his opposition still loses sleep over his historic landslide electoral victory and wants desperately to keep America from being great again.
That is the Trump Administration’s preferred reading of what has come to be known as the “Nunes Memo”: a four-page document released by the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Devin Nunes. The memo describes how the infamous “Steele dossier,” a dubious research effort backed by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, was partially responsible for the FBI obtaining a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Warrant for a former Trump campaign advisor, Carter Page.
Many on the right have touted the “Nunes memo” as tacit evidence of the intelligence community’s bias against the Trump administration. Several hail it as definitive proof that the FBI should have never conducted and needs to immediately end its investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia. Trump himself has claimed that the memo totally vindicates him from all allegations raised against him since he took office.
He even called Devin Nunes, “a man of tremendous courage and grit, [who] may someday be recognized as a Great American Hero for what he has exposed and what he has had to endure!”
I, personally, have no interest in disputing what the memo claims. The FBI very well may have taken cues from some sketchy research commissioned by the DNC in its procurement of a surveillance warrant for a single Trump staffer. I do not think that that is outside the realm of possibility.
But the crux of the issue is not whether or not the allegations in the memo are true; it is about whether or not they actually matter in the grand scheme of things. And when it comes down to it, they really do not—at least not enough to undermine the legitimacy of Mueller’s Russia probe and certainly not enough to vindicate Donald Trump. The Bureau’s possibly partisan misstep in procuring the surveillance warrant for Page does not erase the mountain of evidence that the investigation has accumulated thus far.
The contents of the memo did not make Michael Flynn and George Papadapolis lie to the FBI. Donald Trump Jr. was still eager to accept dirt on Hillary Clinton from a Russian contact in June of 2016—with or without the warrant on Page.
The memo also has nothing to do with Trump’s potential obstruction of justice. And above all else, the memo does not change the fact that, whether Trump was in on it or not, Russia still meddled with our election.
Even Trey Gowdy, the Republican congressman from South Carolina who co-authored the memo with Nunes and two others, believes the memo does not discredit Mueller’s inquiry.
This collusion inquiry transcends politics. At its core, it has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans. American democracy—our democracy—was compromised.
We witnessed the crime of the century this past election cycle, so for the sake of our country, there has to be an investigation. If the president did nothing wrong and truly wants vindication, he should let Mueller keep probing until he realizes that there is nothing to find.
The memo is nothing more than a convenient distraction. It is a shiny, provocative, inconsequential non-story masquerading as a smoking gun. Donald Trump saying it should vindicate him is like a man being investigated for a string of murders demanding he be let off the hook because the local sheriff’s department once gave him a speeding ticket he did not deserve.
Jay Fuchs is a senior communication major