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House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes. Photo by Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The memo by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes is out, but there are still some critical unanswered questions — like whether there was any actual wrong information in the application to begin electronic surveillance on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Here's what to keep in mind as you read the memo and the reactions to it.

  • The memo doesn't say there was false material in the application to begin surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. At most, it says the attempts to verify the material in the dossier by Christopher Steele were in their "infancy." The main point of the memo is that some of the material in the FISA application was produced by people with anti-Trump agendas.
  • But in federal law enforcement, you talk to people with ulterior motives. The idea that you could only put material in a FISA application that is guaranteed not to be tainted by anybody with possibly questionable motives is not an idea that has any currency in law enforcement circles.
  • The main charges of anti-Trump bias: The memo states that Steele said he "was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president," and reports that the wife of then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr worked on opposition research against Trump for Fusion GPS, the research firm that assembled the dossier.
  • The fallout of the memo: the fact that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is named in it is a big deal. Couple that with President Trump's comments about whether the memo made him more likely to fire Rosenstein: "You figure that one out."
  • It's a terrible day for Rosenstein. Many in the conservative movement — including the president — want his head. As I reported this morning, the Tea Party Patriots are already launching an ad campaign calling on him to "do his job, or resign."
  • Part of the reason this memo is generating such a broad variety of reaction is that the vast majority of Americans don't know anything about FISA or the authorities the intelligence community have to surveil Americans. Intel geeks are writing this off as underwhelming, but Americans who are uninitiated to FISA may find this troubling.
  • What the memo doesn't say (but we need to know): Whether there was any incorrect information in the FISA affidavit to justify surveillance of Carter Page, and did the FBI know it to be incorrect? Or was the information used to surveil Page all accurate even if it came from sources with anti-Trump motives?

The bottom line: What I want to know most is whether the information used to get the FISA warrant was verified before the U.S. government began surveillance of Carter Page.

Go deeper

Updated 6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

  1. Health: CDC expects new COVID surge starting this month — Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low
  2. Politics: Federal judge overturns CDC's eviction moratorium — Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants — U.S. will support waiving vaccine patents — Education secretary: All schools expected to be fully in-person this fall
  4. Economy: U.S. may have added more than 2 million jobs in April — A surge in youth unemployment.
  5. World: True COVID-19 death toll is double the official numbers, study finds — Countries testing J&J vaccine doses after contamination at Baltimore plant — Germany opposes Biden's support for waiving vaccine patents
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Dave Lawler, author of World
17 mins ago - World

True COVID-19 death toll is double the official numbers, study finds

Expand chart
Data: IHME; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

There have been twice as many deaths from COVID-19 around the world as have been reported, according to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which analyzed excess mortality and other factors.

The big picture: The U.S. has undercounted by over 300,000 deaths, while the death tolls in India and Mexico — second and third on the list, respectively — are nearly three times the official numbers, according to the analysis.

Top Wall Street cop says report on meme stocks is coming

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Wall Street's top regulator says a report examining meme stock mania will be coming "sometime this summer."

The big picture: It will "detail the range of activities" that came out of the January events," SEC chair Gary Gensler said Thursday at a third congressional hearing held to dissect the GameStop trading phenomenon.