The Democratic memo regarding the Russia investigation has finally been released, and it appears to counter some of the major right-wing talking points regarding the investigation.
You can read the memo in full at the link below.
The memo comes in response to another memo released earlier this month by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee alleging that the FBI was biased in its investigation and that the entire investigation was something of a witch hunt against Donald Trump.
On Saturday, the White House agreed to release a partially redacted version of the Democratic memo, which made claims that the salacious dossier alleging collusion on the part of Trump’s campaign is at least partly corroborated, Time reported.
As Politico noted, the Democratic memo rebuffed claims Republicans had made that the Russia investigation was based on what was described as a falsified memo compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, an expert on Russia.
The new memo shows that the FBI was already looking into possible collusion from the Trump campaign even before the Steele dossier showed up.
“The memo reveals that the FBI has already launched investigations into members of the Trump team prior to receiving a dossier of allegations about Trump’s ties to the Kremlin, which the president has long derided as a fiction,” Politico noted. “The dossier was financed by the campaign of Hillary Clinton, leading Republicans to allege that the FBI’s Russia investigation was prompted in part by political opposition research.”
Key points of Democratic rebuttal to GOP memo:— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 24, 2018
• GOP memo was effort to undermine DOJ, FBI
• FBI did not abuse FISA
• DOJ outlined "multi-pronged rationale" for surveilling Carter Page
• Steele dossier did not inform FBI's decision to initiate Page investigation in July 2016 pic.twitter.com/S6M5CBf9At
The Democratic memo also noted that some of the claims made in Steele’s dossier — which include reports that Trump’s campaign worked hand-in-hand with Russia to spread emails stolen from Hillary Clinton — have been independently corroborated.
“In subsequent FISA renewals, DOJ provided additional information obtained through multiple independent sources that corroborated Steele’s reporting,” the memo claimed.
It went on to say that the warrant to spy on Trump campaign official Carter Page — which Republicans claimed was obtained using false information — was actually approved by four different judges who were all appointed to the bench by Republican presidents, Politico noted.
BREAKING: The Democratic Memo proves that the FBI did not abuse the FISA warrant process and DID NOT use the Steele Dossier to initiate their investigation #DemMemo— Ed Krassenstein ???? (@EdKrassen) February 24, 2018
The Schiff memo says the FBI had independent reason, separate from the Steele dossier, to believe Carter Page was “knowingly” helping Russian intelligence, and that, in FISA renewal applications, it gave the court information that “corroborated” the dossier’s claims: https://t.co/etLYC722Zh— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 24, 2018
The Democratic memo also seemed to take on right-wing talking points regarding the Russia investigation, including that the Department of Justice paid Christopher Steele to compile the dossier. He was not paid by the DOJ, the newly released memo shows. The memo also noted that judges were made aware that some information for Page’s surveillance application came from Steele’s dossier, and that judges knew the full background about this dossier.
The full Democratic memo can be read here.