Three Things You Need to Know – February 1, 2018

Here comes the memo

Fight Club has made its way to Washington DC. The three fighters – Devin Nunes, Adam Schiff and the FBI – have been trading punches and dropping bombs over the past 24 hours as if everything rides on this one memo. The document that’s got everyone so hot and bothered, allegedly, shows abuses by the FBI and DoJ during the Russia investigation.

The FBI came out swinging yesterday saying they have quote “grave concerns” over the accuracy of some of the information within the memo. Put another way… this memo is full of crap.

Devin Nunes immediately threw back a counter combination saying:

“Having stonewalled Congress’ demands for information for nearly a year, it’s no surprise to see the FBI and DOJ issue spurious objections to allowing the American people to see information related to surveillance abuses at these agencies.”

So basically… Oh yeah, well you just don’t wanna the people to know the truth!

All went quiet for the rest of the afternoon. The fighters seemed content to circle the ring… BUT THEN, at 9pm last night, Adam Schiff came out of nowhere with a flying superman punch. In an official statement, that he also tweeted, Schiff accused Nunes of showing an edited copy of the memo to the White House without consulting the rest of the Committee.

Nunes was on the ropes, but he came back swinging saying basically… dude, we added some commas, dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s, and fixed a few minor things the FBI suggested.

All this was as of late last night. An official with the Trump administration has said the memo will “likely” be released sometime today. We’re either going to see the mother of all political bombs, or a let down that would rival one of the many James Comey testimonies.

Whether this memo is partisan or not (it is), whether the Democrats are scared of political blowback (they are), and whether the FBI is nervous about losing credibility (you better believe they are), what we now need is full transparency on all sides. So by all means, release the Nunes MOAB, but also release the Democrat rebuttal memo, AND the FBI should do the same. Let’s get all the information and make up our own minds.

I get the feeling that all the political back and forth over this memo is little more than pre fight trash talk between two boxers. The louder they are – and the more they try and build up hype – usually reveals a boring fight when it’s all said and done. But we’ll all find out for ourselves very soon.

Trey Gowdy is not seeking re-election

House Republicans are going to have to find a new favorite prosecutor.

Yesterday, Republican Trey Gowdy of South Carolina announced he will not run for re-election this fall. He has been a Representative since 2010. Basically, it sounds like Gowdy has had enough of Washington.

As a Congressman, Gowdy gained prominence in 2012 when he was chairman of the special House panel that investigated the attacks in Benghazi and found a lot of fault with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s handling of the crisis.

Through their Benghazi investigation, the House panel discovered Hillary’s extra special private email server, which she used for government business. You know, the email server that is one of multiple excuses Democrats use to explain away Hillary’s impossible loss to Trump.

Republicans in Congress liked the cross-examination skills Gowdy brought to the House from his background as a prosecutor. Unlike many of his colleagues in both parties, Gowdy knew how to ask tough, precise questions.

Most recently, as House Oversight Committee Chairman, Gowdy has been concerned with the integrity of the FBI’s investigation into possible Russia-collusion. He is particularly concerned about the text messages between two FBI agents who were close to the investigation that reveal their anti-Trump bias.

Speculation is that Gowdy is leaving Congress for a possible Federal Judgeship, but so far, his office maintains that he’s returning to private law practice in South Carolina.

The National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman said, “Trey Gowdy exemplifies the persona of a public servant.”

On the other hand, the Democratic Congressional Committee spokesman said Gowdy’s tenure “made a mockery of Congressional oversight.”

And that dichotomy is probably exactly why Gowdy’s getting out of the game.

Yesterday Gowdy said, “I enjoy our justice system more than our political system. As I look back on my career, it is the jobs that both seek and reward fairness that are most rewarding.”

“Seeking and rewarding fairness” – yeah, that doesn’t sound much like politics at all. No wonder Gowdy’s leaving it all behind.

There was way too much complicity in the Larry Nassar case

The Meridian Township Police Department in Michigan will publicly apologize to one person today.

It’s an apology that is 14 years too late.

Brianne Randall-Gay filed a complaint with the police department against disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar in 2004, stating that he touched her inappropriately during a routine exam.

The police investigated and took Nassar’s word instead of Brianne’s. Nassar claimed the then 17-year-old “misunderstood the treatment because she was not comfortable with her body.”

They believed him and dropped the case.

If someone had believed Brianne that day, how many assaults could have been prevented?

It could have stopped more than a decade worth of emotional and physical torture for so many girls.

But no one stood up for Brianne and Larry Nassar went on to sexually assault more than 100 girls under the guise of medical treatment.

For the last couple weeks, famous faces lined the courtroom, patiently waiting to speak about their assault at the hands of Nassar.

He was ultimately sentenced to 40-175 years in prison after pleading to criminal sexual conduct involving girls under the age of 16.

Nassar is a despicable person who more than deserves his sentence. The biggest tragedy of all is that so many people were aware of the situation.

The biggest lesson we can learn from this story and from the many people who have come out in the #metoo movement is that “not to speak, is to speak.”

Complicity in evil acts is evil itself. We can all do a better job at being brave and speaking up when we know something is not right.

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