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For those of us who try to follow developments in the Russia Hoax, it's easy to get bogged down in the details and lose sight of the big picture: what I call the "theory of the case." Every investigation needs a guiding theory, even a hoax investigation, and a solid grasp of that overall case theory is a big help in coming to grips with the big picture.
It’s useful to look at two aspects together: first, the Carter Page FISA, and second, Rod Rosenstein's memo authorizing the Special Counsel.
Criticism - Rosenstein - Authorization - Memo - Violation
We've all heard the criticism of Rosenstein's authorization memo: it fails to cite a criminal violation, and so the appointment of Mueller as Special Counsel is illegitimate because the regulations governing the appointment of a Special Counsel require that a criminal violation be stated. But like so many things we think we know, this turns out not to be true at all.
For starters, the regulations only state that the Attorney General (or, in our case, the Acting AG) has to "determine…that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted." It doesn't state that the actual criminal violation has to be named in the memo. Naturally, the subject of an investigation would like to know what he's being investigated for, and just as naturally the investigator would like to keep the subject in the dark about as much as possible. What would be a reasonable sounding explanation for refusing to cite a criminal statute? It's right there in Rosenstein's memo:
Comey - Testimony - Investigation - Crossfire - Hurricane
And if we check out Comey's testimony, we discover that the investigation that he confirmed, what we know as Crossfire Hurricane, was a counterintelligence (CI) investigation. That means it's all classified, so nothing can be revealed publicly.
But wait, you say, a CI investigation isn't a criminal investigation, so where's the criminal violation,...
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