Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, Professor. Sep. 26, 2019 1 min read

This DOJ OLC opinion is amazing. The ICIG/DNI passed to the DOJ a complaint itemizing misconduct by many parties, including—in addition to Trump—Giuliani and unnamed White House officials who were misusing an NSC intel archive. DOJ *only* considered Trump. 

1/ Much worse, in a footnote in the memo the DOJ *acknowledges* the possible misuse—by White House officials—of an NSC-maintained archive *unquestionably* under the DNI's jurisdiction, but then says *because the ICIG didn't focus on that*, DOJ won't either. Doesn't work that way.

2/ The OLC opinion explicitly envisions a case in which a non-agency party (White House officials) perpetrate a fraud on an IC agency (here the NSC) under DNI jurisdiction—*just what the whistleblower alleges*—but then concludes, falsely, "none of those circumstances exist here."

3/ It seems clear that someone directed OLC attorneys to only consider how to protect (and analyze the circumstances of) the president, while ignoring *all other misconduct in the whistleblower complaint*. That's a gross dereliction of duty that someone should have to answer for.

4/ The NSC is under the jurisdiction of the DNI inasmuch as the CIA Director and Deputy Director sit on the NSC and both parties are under DNI jurisdiction. This is putting aside the fact that the maintenance of an NSC intel archive is clearly a statutory "intelligence activity."

5/ In other words, even if the DOJ OLC in good faith believed that the president's misconduct was not an "urgent concern" under the definition of the statute, the *cover-up* of that misconduct definitely *was*, and the OLC deliberately—knowing those facts existed—*ignored* them.

You can follow @SethAbramson.


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