Democrats Seek Intelligence Behind GOP Memo on Russia Probes

Democrats Seek Intelligence Behind GOP Memo on Russia Probes

This week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) commented on the lost texts, saying: "The omission of text messages between December 2016 and May 2017, a critical gap encompassing the FBI's Russian Federation investigation, is equally concerning".

"The four-page document is said to contain claims federal officials abused a U.S. surveillance program to target and undermine the Trump campaign".

Burr, R-North Carolina, has kept his public distance from the House investigation and Nunes, particularly Nunes' concerns over the "unmasking" of Trump officials in intelligence documents, as well as the recent dust-up over missing FBI text messages provided to Congress. (Yeah, yeah, I know. but stop snickering.) Now, maybe the memo will read like sheer propaganda, but this seems highly doubtful. Trump, responding to questions from reporters, added that his campaign did not collude with the Russians to influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election, and that he did not obstruct the investigation into possible collusion with the Russian government.

The complaint, filed by the nonpartisan calls on the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Nunes or committee staff leaked closed-door testimony of the head of the company that produced the bombshell dossier of Russian information on.

In a party-line vote last week, committee Republicans approved releasing the memo to House members, without sharing the essential intelligence documents that might support the claims.

The memo encompasses four-page summary of Nunes investigation into the FBI and Justice Department's use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.

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The much-ballyhooed memo has been the subject of fierce debate for the past few days-with multiple Republicans demanding its release and hinting at its allegedly dire contents.

Democrats on the intelligence committee call the memo a "misleading set of talking points" that Nunes compiled as part of a GOP effort to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into whether Trump colluded with Russian Federation to sway the 2016 presidential election. Fusion GPS, a research firm founded by former Wall Street Journal reporters, employed the wife of a top Justice Department attorney at the time.

"I think discussions around this memo have made it clear that even at the highest levels of government, we have people who don't understand how FISA works", Stifel said.

Three sources told Politico the document raises questions about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled a decision to surveil Trump adviser Carter Page and whether the infamous "dirty" Steele dossier played a role in the decision. "Look at the precedent", says Matthew Miller, who was a Justice Department spokesman in the Obama administration. Senior officials at the Justice Department say they are "taking steps" to recover these messages, adding that they are working to locate the physical cell phones affected by the glitch in order to subject these phones to a forensic review.

Ryan sits passively by as Russian bots help hype the release of a memo based on Nunes' unfounded speculation. Chuck Grassley and Johnson wrote that the IG told them last month that the IG's office had received all text messages between Strzok and Page from November 30, 2016, to July 28, 2017, contradicting the gap reported in the cover letter. And though he has not yet seen the House GOP's memo, he surmised he soon would.