Reax to the 'Memo': 'Headed Down a Dangerous Path'

Trump declassifies Nunes memorandum, frenetic spin on both sides ensues
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2018 1:40 PM CST
This Oct. 24, 2017, file photo shows House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes speaking on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – Citing "extraordinary" circumstances, the much-anticipated GOP memo on alleged FBI surveillance abuse was given the all-clear Friday by the White House, which declassified the memo without redactions "in light of the significant public interest" in it, per a letter to House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes. At the center of the memo are dossier compiler Christopher Steele and former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, who was the subject of FBI and DOJ surveillance under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act order issued in October 2016. The Nunes memo claims the surveillance was improper in part because the feds didn't disclose to the FISA court that their main rationale for the surveillance—the dossier—had been bankrolled by Democrats. More on the story:

  • The upshot: The Washington Examiner, which seems to have gotten an early look at the memo, offers up the memo's main points, including assertions that then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said no FISA warrant would have been sought without the dossier; that Steele had admitted in September 2016 to a senior DOJ official he "was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president"; and that the FISA applications on Page were sought without mentioning Steele's ostensible political motivations, despite senior DOJ and FBI officials knowing about them.
  • Where Papadapoulos fits in: Despite much of the focus being on the Steele dossier, however, info about former Trump campaign adviser George Papadapoulos is what appeared to be the initial trigger for the FBI "counterintelligence investigation," as cited in the memo, per the Hill—and that kicked off in late July 2016.

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