Chuck Ross, DCNF on February 24, 2018
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a highly anticipated memo on Saturday that Democrats say provides clarification about the FBI and Justice Department’s application for a spy warrant on President Donald Trump’s former campaign adviser Carter Page.
The 10-page document aims to rebut claims made in a memo released Feb. 2 by committee Republicans.
In that first memo, Republicans asserted that the FBI and Justice Department relied heavily on the unverified Steele dossier to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant in Oct. 2016 to spy on Page. U.S. officials also failed to disclose that the dossier was funded by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, Republicans claimed.
Democrats dispute that characterization, saying the Justice Department disclosed that the dossier was funded by a politically motived client.
“The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit [Trump’s] campaign,” reads the memo, quoting from the FISA application.
Democrats also assert in their memo that parts of the Steele dossier were corroborated “through multiple independent sources.”
Page met secretly with two Kremlin insiders, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin, during a well-publicized trip to Moscow in July 2016, according to the dossier. The dossier also alleges that Page was working with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort as part of the collusion effort.
Corroborated information about Page is redacted from the Democratic memo.
Page has vehemently denied meeting with Sechin and Diveykin and says he has never met Manafort.
Democrats also claim that the FISAs against Page “allowed FBI to collect valuable intelligence.” A paragraph laying out the purported evidence is largely redacted from the memo.
Democrats also rebut the Republican claim that the FBI and DOJ omitted material facts about Steele in the FISA applications. The Republican memo stated that U.S. officials failed to tell the FISA court that the FBI severed its relationship with Steele after the first FISA was obtained because he made unauthorized contacts with the media.
Steele was a source for a Oct. 31, 2016, article published by Mother Jones. (RELATED: Carter Page Warrant Relied On Dossier And Stories Planted By Fusion GPS)
Democrats claim that the FBI “properly notified” the FISA court about severing its relationship with Steele.
Read the Democrats’ memo here:
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