Edward Snowden is the latest to weigh in on U.S. Representative Devin Nunes’ push to release a formerly classified memo suggesting the F.B.I and Justice Department abused their authority to spy on former Trump campaign advisor Carter Paige. Snowden’s rise to fame and perspective on the matter comes courtesy of his 2013 leaking of top-secret N.S.A. documents detailing a broad domestic and international spying program orchestrated by the U.S. Government.
And while Snowden says he took the precaution of making journalists who published information from his 1.5 million files talk to the members of the intelligence community to “prevent harm,” Nunes reportedly took no such measures.
“Mr. Nunes has not read the warrant from which the memo is said to be drawn,” wrote Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Matthew Rosenberg, in a New York Times report on Nunes. “The Justice Department considers such warrants extremely sensitive and allowed only one Democrat and one Republican from the [Ways and Means] committee, plus staff, to view it. Rather than do so himself, Mr. Nunes designated Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina to be the Republican reader.”
The memo, warrant and related investigation are all directly tied to F.B.I. reports of Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential Election. In addition to serving as Trump’s campaign advisor, Paige met with two men who were charged with working as agents for Russian intelligence in New York. Donald Trump, who won the election and has been accused of collusion with Russian operatives, signed off on releasing the memo. Trump granted the release against what the F.B.I. called “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”
Trump then took to Twitter to note (in the third person) that the memo he signed off on releasing “totally vindicates” him.
Among other things, that led to Snowden calling out the very House Intelligence Committee he asked journalists to talk to in 2013.
“Turns out our standard of care was higher than the actual Intel committee,” Snowden tweeted, after it was all but confirmed Nunes’ push to publicize the memo would be successful.