President Donald Trump said Saturday morning that the four-page memo drafted by House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Rep. Devin Nunes released on Friday “totally vindicates” him.
“But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on,” he wrote. “Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead).”
Other key Republicans, however, don’t seem to agree with the president on what the memo means for the Russia investigation.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, who helped release the memo, said, “I also remain 100 percent confident in special counsel Robert Mueller. The contents of this memo do not — in any way — discredit his investigation,” according to the Washington Examiner.
House Speaker Paul Ryan added that the memo “does not impugn the Mueller investigation or the deputy attorney general.”
“I think we should disclose all this stuff,” he told reporters on Tuesday in favor of the memo’s release. “But I think disclosure is the way to go. It’s the best disinfectant. And I think we need to disclose, that brings us accountability, that brings us transparency, that helps us clean up any problem we have with (the Justice Department) and FBI.”
The release came after Trump and his White House legal team reviewed the document, as required by law, and offered no objections to the document being declassified.
The memo includes information about what role the infamous “Trump dossier” — commissioned by Fusion GPS and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee — played in the FBI obtaining FISA warrants to surveil the Trump team.
Nunes wrote, “(The Committee’s) findings, which are detailed below, 1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and the legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represents a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from the abuses related to the FISA process.”
The memo also reveals that former British spy Christopher Steele, who was paid by opposition research firm Fusion GPS to compile the dossier — was apparently “desperate” that Trump never make it to the White House.
“(I)n September 2016, Steele admitted to (DOJ official Bruce) Ohr his feelings against then-candidate Trump when Steele said he ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president,’” the memo reads.
“This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files — but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications,” it added, referring to Trump’s campaign adviser Carter Page.
Steele’s alleged bias is notable, particularly considering the memo claims the FBI used the dossier — which was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee — to obtain FISA warrants in order to surveil the Trump team.
The FBI opposed the memo’s release this week stating, “We have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”
Speaking Monday in the Oval Office, President Donald Trump told reporters that the abuses by the FBI and the DOJ outlined in the memo are “terrible.”
“I think it’s a disgrace, what’s happening in our country,” Trump said. “A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves, and much worse than that.”
The full text of the memo can be read here.
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