With Friends Like These….by Craig Fuller

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Mr. President, you should tell your friends to stop ‘helping!’”

The heavily scrutinized memo released by Republicans on Capitol Hill purportedly helping President Trump – or, so he says – actually does far more damage.

Here’s why for four reasons:

If read to the end, the memo concludes by revealing that an investigation was open by the FBI when it learned that a Trump campaign aide was bragging about the fact that they had access to Clinton emails. This had nothing to do with the “dossier” that the Committee questions.

The memo also revealed that a very involved process leading to the approved use of electronic surveillance of an American citizen was actually completed no fewer than four times with a special court agreeing each time that there was sufficient reason to engage in the surveillance of a citizen who was involved in the Trump campaign and believed to have contact with Russians and people connected to Russian intelligence.

Omitted from the discussion is the faulty notion that a work product associated with professional opposition research should be viewed with great skepticism. As one who has engaged professional investigators to conduct such research, I can tell you that these investigators are not paid to create political spin or campaign rhetoric. They work to learn what can be found that might raise concerns. In my case, the professionals were engaged to look into the background of the candidates with whom I was associated. Yes, smart campaigns actually delve into the backgrounds of their own candidates in order to learn what might be discovered by others. The fact something is revealed that could be of concern does not make it factually correct. But, when found by a professional using sources considered to be credible, these findings should be examined closely. If something potentially illegal is discovered, then once in the hands of the proper officials it should be investigated and not dismissed.

Finally, stepping up hostilities with one of the most respected law enforcement groups in the world seems a high-risk gamble. The FBI is not infallible, but to disrespect the work of the individuals that currently serve and those who formerly served in the FBI will have consequences. And, what do you know? It only took a few days to learn that while the Republican’s memo suggests surveillance began on this American citizen associated with the Trump campaign in 2016, TIME magazine was provided with information that this citizen was actually on the radar three years earlier and being looked at after bragging that he was an advisor to Russians back in 2013. I somehow doubt that we’ve seen the last of facts that support the actions of the nation’s leading investigative body.

This breakdown between a key Committee of Congress with important oversight responsibilities over our intelligence agencies, aided and abetted by the White House, and the very agencies of the Federal government they oversee is a serious problem that will not be quickly or easily resolved.

It is high time to stop encouraging friends to do really foolish things!

The author suggests this link for future reading.

Craig Fuller served four years in the White House as assistant to President Reagan for Cabinet Affairs, followed by four years as chief of staff to Vice President George H.W. Bush. Having been engaged in five presidential campaigns and run public affairs firms and associations in Washington, D.C., he now resides on the Eastern Shore with his wife Karen.

Letters to Editor

  1. Vincent DeSanctis says:

    First Congressional District residents need to challenge Andy Harris and his slavish support of all things Trump. The Congressman apparently considers defending his party’s leader more important than protecting our constitutional system. As someone whose family sat at the gateway of Soviet influence in eastern Europe you would think that he would support efforts to uncover what the Russians did in 2016. But since so many signs point to a president and a family that was very dependent on Russian money Harris and his colleagues realize that a complete investigation is detrimental to GOP fortunes. Thus delegitimize the investigation even if it means being a toady so that a subsequent report is considered suspect.

    • David Lloyd says:

      Could not agree more. Harris has to realize that there are people in his District who are not glued to Fox News and who see the reality of the disaster that is the Nunes memo. To put his and Trump’s personal interests before that of his constituents — and all Americans! — is most irresponsible! Let’s hope that either a smarter Republican or a Democrat will run against Harris and win!!

      • Deirdre LaMotte says:

        Yes, there is a man who can beat Harris: Jesse Colvin, whip smart (Duke, Columbia), former Army Ranger and married to a moderate Republican (he is bi-partisan 🙂 )

  2. Berlin, Donald says:

    Thank you Craig Fuller for your careful and honest analysis of the current “memo” controversy! It is apparent you have served Republican political leaders with commitment and loyalty while deeply committed to the well-being of our country. So, we indeed thank you for your service as we do all those who have taken an oath to defend and honor the Constitution of the United States.

    As a loyal and devoted naturalized US citizen and as one who has been privileged to meet and lobby any number of our elected representatives, I am impressed and inspired by their integrity and work ethic on behalf of America and all our constituents. These elected leaders do not deserve to be demonized or to have their motives trivialized unless they stand silent in the cause of viciousness. I want to believe that most of our elected officials, whether Republican or Democratic, are decent and honest men and women. I am grateful that there are people like you, Sir, who are willing to take a stand and place country over party that we might become “a more perfect union.” I urge every citizen to pledge support and appreciation of our strong differences as well as our strong bonds with honor, with truth, with fairness and with respect. Should any of our leaders stumble into an evil exercise of office and fail, it is incumbent on each of us to rise to the occasion and demonstrate our devotion to a principled America over any office or person. I have witnessed too closely what devastation supposedly good people can do when not called to account. We do not have the luxury of time to correct political cowardice and expediency. When good people do nothing, evil prevails; we terrorize each other. murder occurs. My religious tradition along with other religions emphasize that people of honor insist that even God Almighty must be held to account. It is time for Americans of every kind, no matter party affiliation, gender, religion, race, nationality, wealth, deprivation, blessing or curse, to stand together with the highest regard possible for our fellow patriot, to decry the politics of divisiveness, the denigration of our fellow and the deterioration of our national soul, to rise up and stand together on behalf of America’s integrity as “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.” Bless you Craig Fuller for your example! May each of us follow suit! That was the promise of our framers! That is our destiny now!

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