The memo that highlights alleged government surveillance abuse has been released and includes testimony from a high-ranking government official who says without the infamous Trump dossier, the FBI and DOJ would not have secured surveillance warrants to spy on at least one member of the Trump team.
The House Intelligence Committee released the memo on Friday afternoon.
The memo, which has been at the center of an intense power struggle between congressional Republicans, was declassified ahead of its release Friday.
It also claims the FBI and DOJ used media reporting to lend credibility to the dossier, while the firm behind the dossier, Fusion GPS, briefed major American news outlets to include New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, New Yorker, Yahoo and Mother Jones.
The memo shows that after former British spy Christopher Steele was cut off from the FBI, he continued to pass information, as did Fusion GPS, through Justice Department Official Bruce Ohr. Ohr’s wife Nellie began working for Fusion GPS as early as May 2016.
It also claims evidence that Steele has a personal animus for the President Trump.
“Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then Candidate Trump, in September of 2016, when Steele told Ohr, that he Steele ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president,” the memo reads, according to an excerpt obtained by Fox News.
“Steele ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president'”
According to Byron York of the Washington Examiner, it was then-FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe who confirmed to the committee that no FISA warrant would have been sought from the without the Steele dossier information. It was announced this week that McCabe, a controversial figure because of his wife’s ties to Democrats, is leaving the bureau.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Trump, who has read the memo, called the contents “a disgrace.”
“A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves,” he said.
The impending release of the four-page memo comes after the House Intelligence Committee voted earlier this week, over Democratic objections, to make the document public. This led to a rare and stunning rebuke from the bureau, which said Wednesday they had “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”
The memo includes alleged abuses involving FISA, or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
In a last-ditch objection, the top Democrat on the House committee claimed overnight that Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., had made “material changes” to the memo that was sent to the White House for review.
But Nunes’ office described the changes as minor and blasted the complaint as a “bizarre distraction from the abuses detailed in the memo.”
The White House has backed the memo’s release, calling for “transparency.”
Earlier Friday, President Trump unleashed an early-morning tweet at a Justice Department he said has been “politicized” by Democrats.
The memo was released today and without any redactions. You can read it below:
GOP-led House investigators believe the FBI used a dubious dossier, initially prepared as campaign opposition research for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, to get permission from a secret federal court to eavesdrop on Trump campaign and transition team communications.
“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,” Trump wrote. “Rank & File are great people!”
Just more than two weeks, Republican lawmakers first drew attention to the memo, with some calling it “shocking,” “troubling” and “alarming” and one likening the details to KGB activity in Russia. They argued the memo should be immediately made public, leading to a social media #ReleaseTheMemo campaign.
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