Rosenstein OK'd surveillance of ex-Trump adviser: GOP memo

30 January 2018, 01:01 | Andres Norman

Ex-FBI agent debunks 'misleading' GOP memo: Judge confirmed 'valuable intel' came from tapping Carter Page

Secret memo hints at a new Republican target: the deputy attorney general

The memo, which Democrats claim contains "cherry-picked facts" to craft a misleading narrative, takes aim at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate possible obstruction of justice by the president and collusion with Russian to undermine the 2016 presidential election.

The Republican memo is said to contain allegations that Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials failed to fully explain to an intelligence court judge in seeking the extended surveillance of Page that it was relying in part on research by a former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele, which had been financed by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

The FBI had been tracking Page, who was previously based in Moscow, since 2013, but was never charged with any wrongdoing.

The memo, the Times reports, suggests Rosenstein didn't present a strong enough case to renew the warrant in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. CNN also reports that Trump has Rosenstein "in his crosshairs" in a story based on four anonymous sources. The House Intelligence Committee is expected to vote this week on whether to release the memo.

The dossier alleges that Page was the Trump campaign's contact with the Kremlin and that he met secretly in July 2016 with two Kremlin insiders, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin. Americans deserve the truth. It would give President Trump five days to object; otherwise, the memo will be released. The Trump administration has indicated it wants the memo to be made public, while officials at the Justice Department have urged caution. The hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo has gone viral.

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The New York Times, citing three people familiar with the document, reports that the memo portrays the Russian Federation investigation as "tainted from the start" because it relies in part on research by former British spy Christopher Steele, who had been financed by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

No information has publicly emerged, however, that the DOJ or Federal Bureau of Investigation did anything improper.

The former investment banker and Navy officer took a personal trip to Moscow to deliver a speech at a graduation ceremony in July 2016, which fueled nascent allegations that Trump was somehow colluding with Russian Federation.

The development may signal that Rosenstein could face renewed criticism from within his own party, including from the White House.



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