President Donald Trump released the controversial FISA memo Friday, but the drama surrounding Washington’s memo mania isn’t over yet. The memo, which accuses the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation of abusing their surveillance authority to spy on former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, was commissioned by House Intelligence Committee chairman, Devin Nunes, R-Calif.
What did the memo actually say?
Here are the memo’s three main points:
- The memo accuses the FBI and DOJ political bias against President Donald Trump in their investigation of Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 campaign.
- It charges officials in the FBI and DOJ of withholding information concerning the Trump-Russia dossier when requesting a surveillance warrant from a FISA court judge.
- And that the FBI and DOJ abused their surveillance powers in order to eavesdrop on Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page.
Here are some key excerpts from the Memo:
- On October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC.
- The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC.
- Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Then-DAG Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ.
- In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts. However, our findings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted:
- The “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
- Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.
“The DOJ was getting fed political opposition research, which was then handed to the FBI, who then lied about its origins in a Federal court,” explained Glenn on the show today. “So it defiantly appears that bias fueled the [surveillance] abuse.”
So, what happens next?
The House Intelligence Committee is now deliberating on the release of a classified Democratic "counter-memo" that would aim to disprove the one commissioned by Republicans.
“This isn’t about Hillary Clinton, and it is not about Donald Trump. It’s really not even about Barack Obama. This is about Russia,” said Glenn. “We still don’t know all of the information … but maybe the upcoming memo from the Democrats will fill in some of that information. But you can bet the house that we still will not have the real picture.”
Watch the clip above to hear Glenn break down the issues behind the FISA memo and discuss what happens next in the memo mania saga.