With Nunes memo release, Trump barrels toward showdown with Mueller — Analysis

With Nunes memo release, Trump barrels toward showdown with Mueller — Analysis

"The White House has therefore been reviewing a document since Monday night that the committee never approved for public release", Schiff said in the letter.

"I think it's terrible", Trump said.

Andrew Herman, a Washington attorney whose practice includes congressional investigations, said the memo will likely be used to support partisan objectives on both sides. The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of - and paid by - the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.

The memo alleges that top law enforcement officials relied on an unsubstantiated dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele to get a warrant to conduct surveillance of Page.

The GOP majority of the House intelligence committee released it. And the public dissection of the four-page, GOP-authored document began.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi accused Mr Trump of "sending his friend Putin a bouquet", calling it a "desperate attempt to distract the American people from the truth about the Trump-Russia scandal". With Rosenstein gone, Trump could appoint a new acting deputy attorney general, who might not be as supportive of Mueller as Rosenstein has been.

Democrats last month backed a deal to end a three-day partial government shutdown in exchange for a Republican pledge to address the immigration debate. "The president understands that oversight concerning matters related to the memorandum may be continuing".

Written by House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes and his staff, the memo was being billed by some conservatives as revealing misdeeds "worse than Watergate" and offences "a hundred times bigger" than what prompted the American Revolution.

For a bit of context, the Fisa warrant review system was established by Congress in 1978 and, as of 2013, had reviewed more than 35,000 surveillance requests. His deputy Rob Rosenstein was also appointed by the president, who has however felt unsure of his choice later.

All you can do is laugh at the intensity of the gibbering propaganda and misdirection, which is nothing more than the rage of a ruling class nabbed in an audacious act of political espionage.

So the big question we are left asking is, "What were Democrats so upset about?"

Indeed, the purpose of the memo does not seem to be FISA reform; instead, it looks like a justification for firing people in the Justice Department whom Trump doesn't like-or has already pushed out.

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This is what Republicans thought was worth risking the good name of the FBI and its agents. Trump said, "You figure that one out".

Former FBI Director James Comey responded to the GOP House Intelligence Committee memo released Friday with a tweet: "That's it?" Nunes confirmed that this is not what happened.

In the memo, officials claimed that investigators failed to provide "an accounting of relevant facts" when they sought and received a FISA order authorizing electronic surveillance of Page in October 2016.

The memo's focus on Page is interesting.

He was executive editor of the Yale Law Journal and obtained a law degree from the university in 1992.

Herridge said the memo alleges the FBI and Justice Department, in their application to the FISA court, used media reporting to lend credibility to the dossier.

"This ignores the inconvenient fact that the investigation did not begin with, or arise from Christopher Steele or the dossier, and that the investigation would persist on the basis of wholly independent evidence had Christopher Steele never entered the picture", the Democrats added.

The FBI has stated that they have "grave concerns" over the memo's accuracy. "FBI special agents have not, and will not, allow partisan politics to distract us from our solemn commitment to our mission".

The FBI and the justice department had opposed the release of the memo that was prepared by Republicans on the intelligence committee.

President Donald Trump, who advocated for the memo's release over the fierce objections of the Justice Department and the FBI, told reporters the document shows "a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves".

As an afterthought, Nunes then throws in reference to text-message exchanges between FBI employees Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.

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