At The National Interest, Daniel McCarthy boils down the Nunes memo into its simplest form, the DNC attempted to us the FBI to do its dirty work. He writes (abridged):
In the midst of the 2016 election, bad actors at the Justice Department tried to turn the FBI into the police arm of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). That’s the bottom line of the January 18 House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence memo released today. The document reveals that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was led, or misled, into authorizing spying on Carter Page, a Trump campaign volunteer, on the basis of information provided by Christopher Steele, a British spy-for-hire working for the opposition research firm Fusion GPS—which was itself ultimately working for the DNC.
Steele was well-rewarded for his efforts. He received over $160,000 in payment from Fusion GPS and the law firm Perkins Coie, both of which channeled the money from the DNC and Clinton campaign. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court did not hear about that, nor was it told that, as the memo reports, “the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.”
How much DOJ and FBI misbehavior here is incompetence rather than malice is hard to say: it’s certainly a matter that bears congressional investigation and public scrutiny in the press, as well.
Read more here.