After weeks of build, the controversial Nunes memo hit the newswire this afternoon, and now top Democrats are getting their chance to respond. Oh, are they responding.
A collection of top Congressional Democrats penned a letter to President Trump warning that any “unwarranted action” he takes against FBI and Department of Justice officials using the memo as proof would be seen “as an attempt to obstruct justice in the Russia investigation.” The group also stated that the firing of Rod Rosenstein or Bob Mueller “could result in a constitutional crisis of the kind not seen since the Saturday Night Massacre.”
The letter decries the House Intelligence Committee’s “decision to release a partisan and misleading memo over the objections of your own Federal Bureau of Investigation Director and Department of Justice was a transparent attempt to discredit the hard-working men and women of law enforcement who are investigating Russia’s interference with our Presidential election and that nation’s ties to your campaign.”
That’s some hot political fire, but what started with the letter overflowed onto Twitter.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the president “surrendered his constitutional responsibility as Commander-in-Chief by releasing Nunes’ unredacted, classified memo” and that his decision “is a bouquet to his friend Putin.”
Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence committee, called the memo’s release “reckless and demonstrates an astonishing disregard for the truth.” He also stated that he’s read the documents the memo is derived from and “they simply do not support its conclusions.”
Former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders deemed the decision to release the memo “a sad example of a political party putting partisanship over patriotism,” while Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin said the memo’s release sends the country down “a dangerous path.”
Even Republican senator John McCain condemned the action, saying in a statement, “The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests—no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s.”
The memo has only been public knowledge for a few hours, but its ramifications are sure to last much, much longer. It just seems like it’s going to impact the partisan divide in the country more than any legal issue. We’re sure there will be more fallout from it, and there surely will be more ridicule and condemnation as it unravels.
Find Paste’s reactions to the Nunes memo here and here.