“There is a degree of merit to these allegations and thus a risk to our national interests.”
Is there? Or is it that you just want there to be a degree of merit?
You left one gaping hole in your analysis. This “research” on Trump was started back at least as early as September 2015. Reportedly, the info was collected at the request of one of Trump’s Republican opponents in the primaries but the that opponent had dropped out of the race before the report was completed. (Other reports claim is was a “wealthy Republican that opposed Trump”.)
The individual memos of the various “infractions” started surfacing in June 2016. Again, reportedly, the original “buyer” no longer had a need for them and they were being shopped around to new outlets. By the end of June 2016 a copy managed to make it’s way to a journalist with ThinkProgress. It’s hard to imagine someone trying to sell this sort of story would resort to ThinkProgress as their initial target so it should be fairly safe to assume that the major news outlets already had copies.
We also see in published news reports that the FBI had a copy of this report back as far as June 20th, 2016. We also know that Sen. Harry Reid had seen it by August 2016 and was concerned enough about it that he contacted the FBI with his concerns. We also know that Clinton supporters were going to the same source for part of their opposition research as soon as it became clear that Trump would be the Republican nominee. So people pushing Clinton’s campaign were aware of these memos going back as far as July 2016. It would be hard to believe that people within her campaign weren’t also aware of them by that point.
Six months later this report gets released to the general public. In the mean time hundreds of reporters have seen the memos and reached out to their contacts to try and validate the claims. The FBI with it’s entire counter-intelligence operation is aware of the memos and presumably have reached out within their network to try and validate the claims. Clinton supporters were also working their contacts. All of these happening independently of each other.
One person collected the items in the report and you “assess that the FSB has compromising material on Trump that would subject him to blackmail with moderate-to-high confidence.” based on that.
Yet you ignore that hundreds of other people with credentials as good as, if not better than, the original source’s can’t seem to validate one single claim?