Democrats, Republicans Sound Off On Controversial GOP Memo

The document was written by GOP lawmakers as part of an effort to reveal what Republicans say are surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department early in Russian Federation investigation, before special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to take it over.

"The premise of the Nunes memo is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOJ corruptly sought a FISA warrant on a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, and deliberately misled the court as part of a systematic abuse of the FISA process", Schiff said last week.

People familiar with the document have said it also rebuts Republican claims that Andrew G. McCabe, the deputy director of the F.B.I.at the time, had told the Intelligence Committee late previous year that the agency would not have sought a wiretap of Mr. Page without Mr. Steele's dossier of information.

In recent months, conservative media and Trump loyalists in Washington have grown louder and louder in their disdain for the Mueller investigation and have targeted the FBI and Department of Justice in an effort to discredit the Russian Federation probe.

But Republicans and the president have said the FBI's methods were troubling and the public should be informed.

Panetta, a Democrat who also served as defence secretary under President Barack Obama, said it would be "a big mistake" if Trump moved to fire Rosenstein or Mueller. Democrats, meanwhile, have slammed the memo as an inaccurate and misleading portrait meant to undermine Mueller's probe and disputed what the memo concluded about McCabe's testimony on the dossier as the basis for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant.

Nunes said it was actually Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who reviewed the FISA documents and later briefed the rest of the committee.

However, Schiff said he's concerned that White House advisers may try to black-out part of the Democrats' memo for political reasons and falsely claim that they are doing it to protect classified information.

Nunes was asked during a January 29 committee meeting whether he had coordinated the memo with the White House.

Rep. Chris Stewart said the two are "very separate" issues.

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"A refusal to release the Schiff memo. will confirm the American people's worst fears that the release of Chairman Nunes' memo was only meant to undermine Special Counsel Bob Mueller's investigation", Schumer wrote Sunday in a letter to Trump.

Trump on Saturday tweeted he felt vindicated by the findings in the memo.

Trump was referring to ongoing probes in Congress and by special counsel Robert Mueller into whether his campaign aided Russia's alleged efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

The memo confirms the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign began in July 2016, months before the surveillance warrant was sought, and was "triggered" by information concerning campaign aide George Papadopoulos.

"I never heard that", Priebus said on NBC's Meet the Press. "Transparency demands that we release the memo". "I wish more of our leaders would", Comey tweeted Thursday night amid news that the FBI had lobbied the White House to block the release of a partisan memo on the Russian Federation investigation.

The confirmation about Papadopoulos is "the most important fact disclosed in this otherwise shoddy memo", California Rep. Adam Schiff, the House committee's top Democrat, said in a tweet Saturday in response to Trump's assertion that the document vindicated him.

"What we will learn is that it is not true that this FISA warrant was awarded exclusively on the basis of the Steele dossier", Mr. Himes said on CNN's "State of the Union".

"To suggest otherwise is a weird distraction from the abuses detailed in the memo, which the public will hopefully soon be able to read for themselves", Langer said.

Trump had advocated the memo's release, telling advisers it could help him in part by undercutting Mueller's investigation and opening the door to firings.

"Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then Candidate Trump, in September of 2016, when Steele told Ohr, that he Steele 'was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president." .

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