"The committee has discovered serious violations of the public trust, and the American people have a right to know when officials in crucial institutions are abusing their authority for political purposes” - Devin Nunes Statement, Feb. 2, 2018
To find the memo and White House press statement, click here
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about the memo President Trump recently declassified and released. With fake memos circulating and MSM pushing their divisive Democrat vs. Republican and "Russian collusion" narratives while ignoring evidence as usual, it’s hard to find the truth. Here w will present all information outlined by the memo and possible implications of its release, complete with sources. This memo was released "in light of the significant public interest in the memorandum," (quote from White House letter written by McGahn) and with the public's best interest in mind. As stated by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence who compiled the memo, it is “a result of a nearly year long investigative effort by the Committee, including document review and witness interviews." Click here for full quote
What is the memo? TL;DR
The memo is written by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (the Committee) Majority Staff to their Members, detailing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses committed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The memo is dated January 18, 2018, and President Trump legally declassified this memo for public release on February 2, 2018. Link to the White House letter and memo:
Downloadable PDF, click here
This memo details many pertinent conflicts of interest, biases, and falsified and omitted information overlooked by officials obtaining FISA warrants used to surveil US citizen Carter Page for supposed "Russian collusion". Specific former and current members of the DOJ and FBI are implicated, as are former FBI source Christopher Steele, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and the Hillary Clinton campaign. This memo also gives further insight into the fake, “salacious and unverified”* dossier compiled by Steele to prove President Trump’s "ties to Russia". Because this falsified dossier and other falsified sources were cited in the application used to obtain warrants against Page and many pertinent points were also left out, this proves the warrants were obtained illegally or at minimum, key officials did not thoroughly analyze the warrant applications, or act in an unbiased manner. It also provides more proof that citing "Russian collusion" is code for working seditiously against President Trump.
In a testimony before Congress, Comey referred to the dossier as “salacious and unverified material” .
Former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former DOJ Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Sally Yates, former DOJ Acting DAG Dana Boente, and current DOJ DAG Rod Rosenstein all signed off on FISA warrant applications which omitted the following facts:
1) Full disclosure of who paid former FBI source Christopher Steele prior to the compilation of his “dossier”. Steele received payment through law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, who were paid by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign, and possibly other unnamed parties. The warrant applications also do not mention the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.
2) Steele’s connection to a falsified Yahoo News article used as “evidence” in the warrant applications. As stated in the memo, “the article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News”. The warrant application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News, but Steele admitted in British court filings that he did meet withYahoo and several other news outlets just before the article was released, at the direction of Fusion GPS.
3) Steele’s conflicts of interest with both the FBI and DOJ. Steele kept in contact with both the FBI and DOJ before and after his termination. Steele was terminated as an FBI source in October 2016 following a Mother Jones article detailing his involvement with the agency. The Committee believes Steele should have been terminated a month prior due to his engagements with multiple media outlets. In September 2016, Steele admitted to DOJ DAG Bruce Ohr that he, “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being President.” Ohr recorded this in official FBI files, but this was not reflected in the FISA applications. The memo states, "the application relied on Steele’s past record of credible reporting but ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations." In December 2017, McCabe testified the FISA warrant would not have been pursued without the falsified Steele dossier.
4) Further conflicts of interest involving the FBI. Pete Strzok of the FBI (who was part of the FBI’s July 2016 Hillary Clinton investigation) launched an unsolicited investigation into George Papadopoulos with no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos. Unconfirmed and biased information regarding Papadopoulos is also included in the FISA applications. Strzok was later demoted for improper text messages with his mistress FBI Attorney Lisa Page (no known relation to Carter Page), where they both demonstrated a clear bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton. As the memo states, "The Strzok/Lisa Page texts also reflect extensive discussions about the investigation, orchestrating leaks to the media, and include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an 'insurance' policy against President Trump’s election.”
Did President Trump do something illegal by declassifying and releasing this memo?
The White House letter at the forefront of the memo, written by the President’s Counsel Donald F. McGahn II to Devin Nunes and cc’d to Paul Ryan and Adam Schiff, outline how the declassification and release of this memo are indeed legal. The Committee voted to publicly disclose this information, and forwarded it to President Trump based on its determination that the release of the memo would serve the public interest; this action is legal, as cited on page 15 of Rules of the House of Representatives: click here to open. As Section 3.1(d) of President Obama’s Executive Order 13526 (page 9 of https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2010-title3-vol1/pdf/CFR-2010-title3-vol1-eo13526.pdf) states, the President has the right to declassify information: “the need to protect such information may be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure of the information, and in these cases the information should be declassified”.
Did President Trump violate “national security” by releasing this memo?
No. For decades various government agencies and agents have cited “national security” as an excuse for not being full disclosure on specific topics/sources/documents they don’t want the public to see. President Trump has been very explicit about releasing the Legislative Branch's findings to the public to make their own conclusions.
If you are up in arms about this you should know Previous Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, and George H.W. Bush have all declassified specific materials in the public interest at the request of Congress (examples in order of Presidents: S. Rept. 114-8 at 12, H. Rept. 107-792, and E.O. 12812). President Trump understands the security risks associated with releasing this information, and “the Executive Branch stands ready to work with Congress to accommodate oversight requests consistent with applicable standards and processes, including the need to protect intelligence sources and methods.”
Sources for above examples, in order:
What do the implicated parties - the FBI & DOJ - have to say about this?
The FBI and DOJ continue to cite “national security risks” from the release of this memo. The FBI states this memo leaves out key information and doesn’t tell the full story. The DOJ is also trying to cover themselves as best they can. At the end of the day, the Committee, President Trump, and much of the American public believe we have a right to see this information and are capable of evaluating the truth for ourselves.
Nunes' statement on DOJ and FBI objections to the release of this information:
A breakdown of what is being argued, and the Committee’s responses: