The classified Democratic memo written in response to the classified Republican memo released three weeks ago has itself now been released after getting the go-ahead from President Trump on Saturday, CNN reports. The GOP memo prepared by Rep. Devin Nunes claimed the FBI abused its powers when it secured surveillance on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, though both the Democrats and FBI director accused the memo of omitting important facts. According to CBS News, Trump later claimed the GOP memo "totally vindicates" him in Robert Mueller's investigation. The president had blocked the release of the Democratic rebuttal memo earlier this month over concerns about sensitive material. A redacted version of the memo was posted online Saturday following negotiations between Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff and the FBI.
The 10-page Democratic memo says the FBI had already started investigating members of Trump's campaign prior to the release of the controversial Steele dossier and that the dossier was not the only piece of information used to secure warrants to spy on Page, Politico reports. It also states the FBI's application to spy on Page was approved by four different judges (all of whom were appointed by Republican presidents). "Our extensive review of the initial FISA application and three subsequent renewals failed to uncover any evidence of illegal, unethical, or unprofessional behavior by law enforcement," Schiff says. But Nunes says the new memo is "clear evidence" of a Democratic cover-up. And the White House says the memo is an "attempt to undercut the president politically" and doesn't change the fact that neither Trump nor his campaign colluded with Russia. (Read more memo stories.)