Today the long-awaited FISA memo detailing how federal surveillance powers were abused to eavesdrop on a Trump campaign official is expected to be released today. The memo allegedly shows how federal authorities used Hillary Clinton campaign “opposition” research — which was largely a collection of “salacious and unverified” gossip, to borrow James Comey’s description — to justify snooping on a Trump campaign aide. Communications from that surveillance were later leaked to the press in an apparent effort to undermine the incoming Trump Administration.
Despite the press usually pining for greater transparency, many reporters actively sought to suppress this document. Republicans who indicated the contents were damaging to FBI investigators were derided as kooks and conspiracy theorists. Others adamantly insisted that bringing sunlight to misconduct within the FBI was akin to waging "war" on the institution itself, and would only serve to undermine America’s national security, possibly resulting in people dying.