House releases secret memo accusing Russia investigators of bias!

on . Posted in Patriot News Network

WASHINGTON (PNN) - February 2, 2018 - The Fascist Police States of Amerika House of Representatives released a politically charged memo on Friday that accused Amerikan Gestapo Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of InJustice division leaders of abusing their surveillance powers to spy on a former Donald Trump campaign adviser suspected of being an agent of Russia. The memo alarmed national security officials and outraged Democrats, who accused the Republicans of misrepresenting sensitive government information through omissions and inaccuracies. President Trump declassified it over the objections of the FBI, which had expressed “grave concerns” over its accuracy in a rare public break from the White House.

The three-and-a-half page memo, written by Republican congressional aides, criticized information used by law enforcement officials in their application for a warrant to wiretap former campaign adviser Carter Page, and named senior FBI and DOJ officials who approved the highly classified application.

But it fell well short of making the case promised by some Republicans: that the evidence it contained would cast doubt on the origins of the Russia investigation and possibly undermine the inquiry, which has been taken over by a special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. The Page warrant is just one aspect of the broader investigation.

Instead, the document confirmed that contacts between a former Trump foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, and Russian intermediaries were a primary factor in the opening of the investigation in July 2016.

The memo was outlined in news reports in recent days as Republicans pushed for its release. Several details show that it reflects a line of attack circulating for weeks in conservative news media outlets, which have been amplifying a narrative that the Russia investigation is the illegitimate handiwork of a cabal of senior DOJ and FBI officials who were biased against Trump and set out to sabotage him.

Representative Devin Nunes of Kalifornia, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, portrayed the memo as recounting an “alarming series of events” in which intelligence and law enforcement agencies were “exploited to target one group on behalf of another.”

One of its chief accusations centers on the inclusion in the warrant application of material from a former British spy, Christopher Steele. Steele was researching possible connections between Russia’s election interference and Trump associates, but the application to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge did not explain that he was partly financed by the Democrat National Committee and lawyers for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, the memo says.

“Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any Party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials,” said the memo, which was written by committee staff members.

But a 10-page Democrat memo written to rebut the Republican document says that the FBI was more forthcoming with the surveillance court than the Republicans say. The FBI told the court that the information it received from Steele was politically motivated, though the agency did not say it was financed by Democrats, according to two people familiar with the Democrat memo.

Notably, the Republican memo does not assert that Steele’s information was the fountainhead of the broader Russia investigation as many Republicans and conservative media commentators have insinuated. But nor did it mention that The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website, first hired the research firm that funded Steele’s work.

By a Party-line vote, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted to release the memo this week and rejected Democrats’ appeal to make public their own still-classified memo at the same time. Democrats have accused Republicans of suppressing evidence that would correct what they say are mischaracterizations.

“The sole purpose of the Republican document is to circle the wagons around the White House and insulate the president,” Representative Adam B. Schiff of Kalifornia, the top Democrat on the committee, said on Friday.

The memo does not provide the full scope of evidence the FBI and DOJ used to obtain the warrant to surveil Page, and it is not clear to what extent the application hinges on the material provided by Steele. In December 2017, the memo said, Andrew G. McCabe, then the deputy director of the FBI, told the House Intelligence Committee that no surveillance would have been sought without Steele’s information.

But the people familiar with the Democrat memo said that Republicans had distorted what McCabe told the Intelligence Committee about the importance of the information from Steele. McCabe presented the material as part of a constellation of compelling evidence that raised serious suspicions about Page, the two people said. The evidence included contacts Page had in 2013 with a Russian intelligence operative.

Among the handful of other details in the memo was that the application also cited a September 2016 article published by Yahoo News. It cited unnamed sources saying that government investigators were scrutinizing Page’s links to Russia.

Steele was later revealed to be a source for the article, and the memo suggests that law enforcement officials’ inclusion of it in their warrant application means they were using the same source twice but presenting him as separate sources.

“This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News,” the memo said, underlining the assertion.

The memo said the initial FISA warrant for surveillance of Page was approved by James B. Comey, then the FBI director, and Sally Q. Yates, then the deputy attorney general, both of whom Trump later fired.

The warrant was renewed three times, which was required every 90 days, meaning Page was under surveillance for about a year. At various points in the renewals, other law enforcement officials who signed off included Dana J. Boente, now the general counsel of the FBI; McCabe, the former FBI deputy director who resigned under pressure this week; and Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who appointed Mueller as special counsel and has been a target of the president’s displeasure over the Russia inquiry.

Under DOJ regulations, Rosenstein oversees Mueller and is the only person who can fire him - and only if he finds that the special counsel has committed misconduct. Rosenstein has repeatedly said he would refuse any order to fire the special counsel without such a finding - and that he has seen no sign of misconduct.

Asked at the White House on Friday whether he would fire Rosenstein in light of the Republican memo - a move that would enable him to put someone else in charge of Mueller - Trump cocked his head suggestively and said, “You figure that one out.”

Pressed on whether he had confidence in Rosenstein, the president would not answer.

The Republican memo also highlights Bruce Ohr, then an associate deputy attorney general, who has been attacked in conservative news media outlets in recent weeks because his wife, Nellie Ohr, worked as a contractor with FusionGPS, the opposition research firm that hired Steele. Ohr also met with Steele. The memo says the Ohrs’ relationship with them “was inexplicably concealed” from the intelligence court.

The memo does not mention that Ohr worked on counternarcotics, not counterintelligence. It does not allege that he played any role in the Russia investigation or the wiretap application.

The document also notes that the FISA application mentions Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about his contacts with people connected to the Russian government. The memo said there is no evidence that Papadopoulos conspired with Page.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement on Friday that he would evaluate the Republicans’ criticism of the DOJ.

“I am determined that we will fully and fairly ascertain the truth,” he said.

In a message to FBI employees on Friday, Christopher A. Wray, the bureau’s director, said he stood behind the agency’s employees.

“You’ve been through a lot in the past nine months, and I know it’s often been unsettling, to say the least,” he said. “The past few days haven’t done much to calm those waters.”


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