Trump authorizes controversial memo release
House Republicans, with the approval of President Donald Trump, on Friday released a disputed GOP intelligence memo that alleges FBI abuses of its surveillance authority, CNN reports.
The highly controversial memo from the GOP and Rep. Devin Nunes alleges that then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the House Intelligence Committee that no surveillance warrant would have been sought for a Trump campaign aide without the Steele dossier.
The memo's release threatens to further fracture the frayed relationship between the President and his Justice Department and intelligence community, both of which opposed the release of the document, which is based on classified intelligence. The FBI issued a rare public warning on Wednesday that the memo omits key information that could impact its veracity.
The FISA court granted a warrant to monitor former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page and approved three subsequent renewals, according to the memo.
Even if the dossier was used as part of the application, a FISA renewal indicates that a judge was convinced that the surveillance was yielding information about the target acting as an agent of a foreign power that merited continued monitoring.
The memo alleges that Steele had an anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations that were not included in the FISA application. Senior DOJ officials knew about ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele's anti-Trump bias, according to the memo.
The memo names former officials in the Obama administration who signed off on the warrants, saying former FBI Director James Comey signed three applications, and McCabe and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates signed at least one.
But the memo also states that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein -- who was elevated under Trump - signed off on at least one FISA application for Page. Rosenstein's role in renewing the FISA warrants has sparked Trump's ire. Dana Boente - who is currently the FBI general counsel and was appointed by Trump's FBI director -- signed off as well on one or more of the applications.