What does the memo mean? Inside the explosive four-pager that Republicans say will blow the Justice Department wide open

Friday, February 2, 2018
By Paul Martin

Newly declassified memo says the FBI and DOJ took info from Christopher Steele and based wiretap applications on it
They knew Steele was unreliable and biased against Donald Trump
Also knew his research was funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton
Wiretaps were repeatedly issued against Carter Page, a Trump adviser
Memo also concludes the FBI and DOJ hid these details from a federal judge who okayed the surveillance

2 February 2018

The House Intelligence Committee released a memo on Friday that was written by Republican aides based on classified documents about government surveillance of a Donald Trump campaign adviser.

The four-page document itself does not appear to allege that anyone violated federal law, but it does outline a pattern of improper conduct by a list of high-ranking FBI and Justice Department officials during the Obama administration.

A Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) judge granted the Justice Department a warrant to surveil Carter Page, partially on the basis of an anti-Trump ‘dossier’ compiled by an opposition research group funded by Democrats.

Using a law firm as a middle-man, the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid the firm, Fusion GPS. Fusion then paid former British spy Christopher Steele more than $160,000 to dig up Russia-related dirt on Trump.

The Republican memo concludes that Steele himself was biased, since he ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.’

But the FBI continued using him as a confidential source anyway, even after he violated the most basic rule of working with a government intelligence service by telling a reporter what he was up to.

The warrant application also relied on a news article by a Yahoo reporter without telling the judge that leaks from Steele himself were at its center.

When the Justice Department asked the court for permission to spy on Page, it didn’t disclose Steele’s bias.

It also never mentioned that it was asking for a warrant based on materials that were paid for by Trump’s political opponents.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testified before the House Intelligence Committee in December 2017 that ‘no surveillance warrant would have been sought …. without the Steele dossier information.’

FISA warrants have to be renewed every 90 days; then-FBI Director James Comey, later fired by President Donald Trump, signed three of them. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed another one.

Others to sign off included then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, another official fired by Trump; then-Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente; and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Another official implicated in the memo is then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr. Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS at the same time, but the FBI never told the FISA court about it.

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