Memo alleges FBI abused FISA law to obtain warrant.
*UPDATE 6:38PM* The House Intelligence Committee did indeed vote to release a memo authored by Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), which alleges the FBI abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
*From earlier today….
It will be the first time the committee has invoked an obscure committee rule in its 40 year history to make public a classified memo. This rule will allow the committee “to bypass the executive branch’s declassification process” and if they do, then President Donald Trump has five days to decide to release it to the public or deny it.
The Nunes memo alleges that the FBI abused the FISA surveillance law over its use of the opposition research dossier on Donald Trump and Russia as part of the case to obtain a FISA warrant for former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. It cites the role of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe for their roles in overseeing aspects of the investigation, according to a source briefed on the matter.
The memo also appears to show that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein approved the application to extend surveillance on Page. From The New York Times:
The renewal shows that the Justice Department under President Trump saw reason to believe that the associate, Carter Page, was acting as a Russian agent. But the reference to Mr. Rosenstein’s actions in the memo — a much-disputed document that paints the investigation into Russian election meddling as tainted from the start — indicates that Republicans may be moving to seize on his role as they seek to undermine the inquiry.
The memo’s primary contention is that F.B.I. and Justice Department officials failed to adequately explain to an intelligence court judge in initially seeking a warrant for surveillance of Mr. Page that they were relying in part on research by an investigator, Christopher Steele, that had been financed by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
The committee has not told the media if they will bring up the memo in this business meeting, but the leadership did provide information to members about the obscure rule just in case they do vote.
They may also vote on a memo from Ranking Member Adam Schiff (R-CA) that counters the one from Nunes while “other Democrats say Nunes’ memo skews the intelligence it’s based on and is an effort to try to discredit special counsel Robert’s Mueller’s investigation.”
Reports have swirled today that FBI Director Christopher Wray went to Capitol Hill this weekend to view the memo. Fox News said that one source claimed “Wray was asked to point out inaccuracies or other issues with the wording — and said he would need ‘his people to take a look at it.'”
Re. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who helped write the memo, told Fox News he wants the memo released:
He also suggested the memo indeed addresses whether the FBI relied at least in part on the dossier — paid for partially by Democrats and the Clinton campaign during the 2016 presidential election — to apply to a secret federal court to get a surveillance warrant, purportedly on then-Trump adviser Carter Page.
“If you … want to know whether or not the dossier was used in court proceedings, whether or not it was vetted before it was used. … If you are interested in who paid for the dossier … then, yes, you’ll want the memo to come out,” Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday.”
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