Democrat memo released by House intel committee claims Steele’s ‘reporting’ played no role in FBI probe

On Saturday, the House Intelligence Committee released a classified Democratic memo Politico said rebuts “GOP claims that the FBI inappropriately spied on an adviser to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.”  According to the heavily redacted memo, which can be seen here, Christopher Steele’s “reporting” played no role in the FBI’s investigation of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

According to Politico:

The committee posted the 10-page document Saturday after weeks of wrangling between the panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, and Justice Department officials over the contours of classified material he hoped to release.

The memo was meant as a counterweight to a GOP memo that Trump declassified three weeks earlier, claiming that FBI officials misled a secret court to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump camp foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

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. 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.

The memo also claims that FISA was never used to spy on Trump or his campaign.  It further says that Carter Page was targeted by a Russian intelligence officer for recruitment.

“The Democratic response memo released today should put to rest any concerns that the American people might have as to the conduct of the FBI, the Justice Department and the FISC. Our extensive review of the initial FISA application and three subsequent renewals failed to uncover any evidence of illegal, unethical, or unprofessional behavior by law enforcement and instead revealed that both the FBI and DOJ made extensive showings to justify all four requests,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat caught colluding with Russians to obtain lewd photos of the president.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., was addressing CPAC when the memo was released.

Democrats, he said, are “colluding with part of the government to cover up” the FBI’s reported abuses.

“We think it is clear that the Democrats are not not only trying to cover it up, but are colluding with parts of the government to help cover this up. As you read it, you will see personal attacks on myself and chairman [Rep. Trey] Gowdy with a lot of interesting things that sound really bad, like a lot that has been happening with this Russian investigation over the course of the last year, but what you’re not going to see is anything that actually rejects what was in our memo,” he added.

Nunes also refuted the Democrat spin memo with a point-by-point statement which can be seen here.

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