House Republicans charge that the FBI used info from a file on Russia’s supposed links to President Trump to obtain a warrant to spy on a former Trump aide without disclosing that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC paid for it.
“The ‘dossier’ compiled by Christopher Steele on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application,” the memo read, referring to the British ex-spy and the former aide.
But although the feds used damaging info from the file, they never disclosed that funding source, the memo states, and so they backed up the dossier with a Yahoo News article that they are saying was tainted because it was based mostly on leaks from Steele.
“Neither the initial application [for a FISA warrant] in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the DNC, the Clinton campaign or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts.”
The memo additionally charges that Steele — a former MI5 agent and Russia specialist — bore a private grudge towards Trump, quoting Steele as telling a Justice Department official that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”
The memo includes additional charges that the feds used a Yahoo News article written by veteran DC pundit Michael Isikoff about a trip Page took to Moscow, where he met with shady, Kremlin-connected Russians, as a part of their application.
But, the memo states, that article was based mostly on leaks from Steele, so it had no value as corroborating evidence.
The feds had obtained one preliminary FISA warrant to surveil Page — and the warrant was renewed 3 times by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Trump on Friday gave the OK for Congress to publicize the memo — calling it “a disgrace” and defying his top appointees to the FBI and Justice Department, CNN reported.
Speaking later at the White House, the president repeatedly mentioned “a lot of people should be ashamed” by its contents, without elaborating or naming names.
“I think it’s terrible. I think it’s a disgrace what’s going on in this country. I think it’s a disgrace,” he mentioned.
He mentioned it’s now up to Congress to determine what occurs next — although the GOP-controlled House Intelligence Committee has been champing at the bit to get it out.
“The memo was sent to Congress, it was declassified. Congress will do whatever they’re going to do, but I think it’s a disgrace what’s happening in our country. And when you look at that, and you see that and so many other things going on, a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves, and much worse than that,” he mentioned, once more without elaborating.
“So I sent it over to Congress. They will do what they’re going to do. Whatever they do is fine. It was declassified, and let’s see what happens. But a lot of people should be ashamed.”
The president had tweeted earlier in the day, accusing his top G-men and Justice officials of politicizing the continuing investigation into Russian interference within the US presidential election and supposed ties to his campaign.
“The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans – something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago. Rank & File are great people!” Trump tweeted.
His tweet came as the morning news shows had been dominated by stories that the FBI and DOJ had objected strenuously to the memo’s publication. Earlier this week, the FBI declared it has “grave concerns” about its accuracy.
Trump’s tweet additionally sets up a showdown with the person he picked to steer the FBI, Christopher Wray, after firing James Comey as agency director.
The memo was prepared by House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes, who says it reveals the feds had a political agenda.