This is Susan Hennessey, a former lawyers for the NSA, talking about classified information and leaks:

The way the system works is that it is classified until there is an affirmative decision to declassify it. So a leak or public disclosure doesn’t declassify it, and it doesn’t allow people who are aware of it to then discuss it publicly.

This is Kafka, pure and simple. The context of Hennessey’s quote is Chairman Nunes and whether his acknowledgement in his press conference of the fact that there is a FISA surveillance warrant related to the documents he saw on the White House grounds, is itself an unauthorized release of classified information.

Get it? The administrative state, or the bureaucracy or whatever you want to call it, has been leaking without pause in what is most likely an attempt to frustrate, thwart and perhaps even destabilize the Trump administration. And Nunes mentions that there is a FISA warrant in existence somewhere out there, and he may now be subject to an investigation?

Another edifying quote from the story in The Daily Beast, (where else?):

The existence or non-existence of a FISA warrant is a classified fact.

This courtesy of Bradley Moss, a lawyer specializing in classification. The point isn’t that Chairman Nunes may have fumbled a fine point. That will surely come out, especially with a little help from Democrats under co-Chairman Schiff’s oh-so-benevolent guidance. Who now are likely to launch an ethics committee investigation.

And that’s the main point. Nunes is being intimidated by any lawyerly squeezing and media-shaming necessary in order to push him off the intelligence committee and let Schiff conduct a witch hunt of anyone in the Trump administration who may have talked to Russians. And protect the leakers in, around, and throughout the beltway bureaucracy.

How will the GOP fight back? Well, expect Nunes to hold his ground. With something less than full support from GOP senators like Graham and McCain, who have once again been quick to criticize where they see an opportunity to embarrass the president.

Of course, Graham and McCain might just be right. Maybe the House Intelligence Committee is now dysfunctional due in large part to partisan maneuvering. And in fact, the Senate Intelligence Committee has just announced that it has drawn up a list of 20 “people” – at least they didn’t say “suspects” – to be interviewed in the coming days. Senators Burr and Warner told the media they will go wherever the facts lead them. Side by side. Sturdy, dependable, senior and wise, and bipartisan. We hope.

While yet another House failure occurs. Is the House burning down? While the Senate takes up the task of governing?

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