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OpinionColumnistsRita Ciolli

#ReleaseTheMemo shows swamp fever

Here’s a tip about Long Island’s GOP members in the House of Representatives: Lee Zeldin has been infected pretty badly, while Pete King still appears healthy.

Lee Zeldin's #ReleaseTheMemo tweets.

Lee Zeldin's #ReleaseTheMemo tweets. Photo Credit: Twitter

If you’re into “deep state” theories, then you’re up to speed on the “release the memo” fever gripping some quarters in Washington. For those of you trying to avoid the actual flu as well as the political one rampant now, here’s a tip about Long Island’s GOP members in the House of Representatives: Lee Zeldin has been infected pretty badly, while Pete King still appears healthy.

The “secret” memo was written by staffers to Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, to discredit the investigation of the FBI and the Department of Justice into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The memo is basically a litany of conclusions that Nunes staffers have reached about classified documents used in federal surveillance courts. Their claim is this: If there was no legitimate basis to start looking at Russian meddling in the election, then any surveillance evidence turned up about Donald Trump and the Kremlin would be illegal and should not be pursued by special counsel Robert Mueller.

King, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, actually might have been the House member who disclosed the existence of the memo because he spearheaded a motion to allow all House members to have access to it. That measure passed.

But King opposes the public dissemination of the memo because it could compromise FBI sources and methods. “You don’t want the enemy to know that,” King was quoted as saying by Politico. “This is not to protect the guilty but to protect the innocent.”

But more extreme House members, such as Steve King of Iowa, started a social media campaign called #releasethememo to discredit the investigation. Zeldin was one of the first to join the effort, speaking Friday on the House floor to demand the memo be made public. He has since repeated his position in media interviews, Facebook posts and tweets. Zeldin’s tweets on the topic were retweeted by Donald Trump Jr.

It seems that swamp fever is very contagious.

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