- President Donald Trump authorised the release of a controversial memo that Republicans say shows evidence of corruption at the FBI and the Justice Department.
- Democrats and senior law-enforcement officials had objected to its release.
- You can read the full memo below.
President Donald Trump on Friday authorised the release of a controversial memo that has been the subject of a fiery debate in Washington, despite objections by Democrats, the FBI, and the Department of Justice.
The memo was spearheaded by Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, as part of the committee’s Republican-led inquiry into potential corruption and bias against Trump at the FBI and the DOJ.
“A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves,” Trump told reporters shortly before signing off on the memo’s release, adding, “I think it’s a disgrace what’s happening in our country.”
Top officials at the FBI and the DOJ had opposed its release, citing inaccuracies and the potential for classified information to be compromised. Democrats have characterised the memo as misleading.
The White House counsel, Don McGahn, justified the memo’s disclosure, saying its value to the public outweighed the need to protect classified information.
Here are the key points laid out in the memo:
- The FBI and the DOJ obtained one initial so-called FISA warrant and three 90-day extensions to surveil Carter Page, a Trump campaign associate, starting on October 21, 2016.
- An explosive dossier outlining ties between Trump and Russia – compiled by the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele and funded by the Democratic National Committee and a law firm connected to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign – “formed an essential part” of the warrant requests.
- But none of the requests referenced the DNC, the Clinton campaign, or any of other Democratic operatives whom law-enforcement officials knew to be connected to the dossier.
- The FISA application “cited extensively” a Yahoo News article from September 2016 detailing Page’s trip to Moscow that summer. The information in that article was from Steele, who was later “suspended and then terminated as an FBI source” for disclosing to the media his relationship with the bureau.
- Steele told a senior Justice Department official that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”
- The FISA application to surveil Page also included information about George Papadopoulos, another Trump campaign associate, without any evidence of wrongdoing.