It appears that the GOP is just getting started in its investigation into alleged surveillance abuses by the F.B.I.
The White House approved the release of the much-anticipated memo detailing the Bureau’s misbehavior on Friday. Predictably, the Democrats downplayed the document, claiming that it lacked context. Republicans argue that the memo shows that political bias might be present in the law enforcement agency.
According to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the investigation is far from complete. In an appearance on Fox News, he declared that the House Intelligence Committee plans to investigate the State Department, as well as other agencies.
Nunes Intends To Investigate The State Department
On Fox News, Nunes told host Brett Baier that the committee was moving into the next section of the investigation. “We are in the middle of what I call phase two of our investigation, which involves other departments, specifically the State Department and some of the involvement that they had in this,” he said.
The representative stated that the panel would be digging deeper to ascertain whether or not the Russia investigation was motivated by politics. “That investigation is ongoing, and we continue work towards finding answers and asking the right questions to try to get to the bottom of what exactly the State Department was up to in terms of this Russia investigation,” he said.
Where Will This Go Next?
The investigation into alleged collusion between President Trump’s campaign and the Russian government has been a source of controversy since the intelligence community discovered Russia’s attempted meddling in the 2016 election. Many believe that the investigation is intended to delegitimize Trump’s presidency. The information contained in the memo provides damning insight into this issue, but it is not the smoking gun needed to discredit the Russia probe completely.
As the Noose Tightens
As the House Intelligence Committee continues their investigation, it is possible that they will uncover more evidence indicating a bias on the part of the F. B.I. and the agents who are looking into supposed collusion. However, it is unlikely that the information they find will be enough to stop Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation. Some individuals have suggested that Trump should fire Mueller — but doing so would be a political mistake for the president.
That being said, it is important to note that if Congress finds more evidence of political bias, it will further erode the trust the American people have in the F.B.I. The memo already shows that the Bureau was willing to be deceptive in pursuing their investigation. They relied on the claims made in the Steele dossier — many of which have already been debunked — without verifying the veracity of the information it contained. Moreover, they did not disclose the fact that the dossier was commissioned as opposition research when they applied for the FISA warrant.
Lastly, in the days leading up to the release of the memo, F.B.I. officials claimed that allowing the public to see the document would threaten our national security. A close look at the memo shows that the Bureau’s claim was false. While the investigation into the Russia probe may not stop Mueller’s investigation, it does show that the president has more work to do when it comes to draining the swamp.