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‘A Made-Up Political Sideshow’: John McCain Blasts Trump As Nunes Memo Crashes And Burns On Arrival

In a desperate move intended to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump on Friday approved the declassification of a Republican-authored memo that alleges wrongdoing at the highest levels of the Justice Department and the FBI. But the release of the document had an opposite effect, showing that his latest attack on the Mueller probe is a dud.

House Republicans and their right-wing media allies have hyped the memo’s release for weeks, calling it “worse than Watergate,” while Democrats and the FBI have warned that the document omits key context and that making it public could damage national security and further undermine the public’s faith in the nation’s premier law enforcement organizations.

But the four-page document, which was drafted by House Intelligence Committee chairman and Trump transition team member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), reveals nothing new. Its authors focus on complaints of liberal bias among mostly Republican law enforcement officials while omitting information that does not fit their narrative.

The resulting document is a boring and tendentious list of right-wing talking points. It’s hard to understand why Republicans were so excited to get it out and why the FBI and Democrats were so determined to keep it secret. It’s such a dud that it was probably more valuable to Republicans when it was still a secret document.

After it’s release, Senator John McCain blasted his Republican colleagues, saying, “we’re doing Putin’s job for him.”

“In 2016, the Russian government engaged in an elaborate plot to interfere in an American election and undermine our democracy,” McCain said. “Russia employed the same tactics it has used to influence elections around the world, from France and Germany to Ukraine, Montenegro and beyond.”

McCain said Russia’s interference has, at best, sown political discord and succeeded in “dividing us from each other.” Attacking the intelligence community is not how to fix the discord, he said.

“The latest attacks against the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests ― no party’s, no President’s, only Putin’s,” McCain added.

“The American people deserve to know all the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded. Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the lens of politics and manufacturing political sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.”

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