James Comey just went after the Republicans over the Nunes memo

James Comey just went after the Republicans over the Nunes memo

The application to surveil Page was filed in October 2016. "It fails to provide vital context and information contained in DOJ's FISA application and renewals, and ignores why and how the FBI initiated, and the special counsel has continued, its counterintelligence investigation into Russia's election interference and links to the Trump campaign". Yet in approving its disclosure, the president took an enormous risk, undermining an already-strained relationship with F.B.I. head Christopher Wray, whose agency took the rare step of releasing a statement on Wednesday citing "grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy".

The dossier itself was full of bombshell claims about Trump, most notably that he cavorted with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room that the Kremlin had rigged with recording devices. He planned to send it back to Congress for release to the public by Friday, officials said. Page had been interviewed by the FBI in 2013 in connection with an investigation into a Russian diplomat who was later charged with espionage.

"That's it?" asked Comey, who was fired by Trump last summer.

"You figure it out", he said coldly.

The release comes despite a lobbying effort from senior officials at the FBI and Justice Department, who argued that the memo contained inaccuracies.

It purports to show that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department misled a U.S. court in seeking to extend electronic surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, multiple sources familiar with it have said. He has supported the memo release in apparent hopes that it could help undermine the probe being led by special counsel Robert Mueller, which he has called a "witch hunt".

The House Intelligence Committee is using a process that experts say has never been used before. The FBI had information that Russia was attempting to recruit Page as an agent, The New York Times reported in April.

That intervention - the White House chief of staff pressuring the Justice Department over something the department believed could undermine an active investigation into the president himself - crossed the brightest of red lines. "A lot of people should be ashamed".

Democratic lawmakers are claiming the Intelligence Committee memo is part of a broader campaign aimed at discrediting the Mueller probe and protecting Trump.

But even on its own terms, the memo does more to refute than to support the FBI corruption narrative that the president is spinning.

The memo says, for example, that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told the House Intelligence Committee that "no surveillance warrant would have been sought" without the dossier. "Rank and File are great people!" he added.

A bombshell House Intelligence Committee memo released on Feb. 2 shows that top officials in the Obama administration abused surveillance powers to spy on the Trump team.

Republicans appear undeterred. Ryan on Thursday defended the release of the memo, but said the memo does not "implicate" Mueller or Rosenstein.

The flip side is that if FISA courts begin to scrutinize warrant applications more carefully, they might act too slowly in cases where there are urgent terrorism-related circumstances that require quick action.

Steele's opposition research effort was initially funded by the conservative Washington Free Beacon.

Earlier Friday, Trump harshly criticized the leadership of the FBI and DOJ.

"Nunes' memo has revealed that the warrant application included information from the Steele dossier".

Warned Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, "elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows".

While the statement was unsigned, it was clear that it would not have been issued without a green light from the new FBI director.

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