House memo states disputed dossier was key to FBI’s FISA warrant to surveil members of Team Trump

House memo states disputed dossier was key to FBI’s FISA warrant to surveil members of Team Trump

A much-hyped memo that shows alleged government surveillance abuse has been released to the public and includes testimony from a high-ranking government official who says the FBI and DOJ would not have sought surveillance warrants to spy on a member of the Trump team without the infamous anti-Trump dossier.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Friday released the memo, which states “concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions” involving FISA, or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, of Trump associates during the 2016 election.

The dossier, authored by former British spy Christopher Steele and  commissioned by Fusion GPS, was paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign through law firm Perkins Coie in an effort to conduct opposition research. It included salacious and unverified allegations about Donald Trump’s connections to Russia.

Griff Jenkins reports from Washington, D.C..

The memo, which has been at the center of an intense power struggle between congressional Republicans and the FBI, specifically cites the DOJ and FBI’s surveillance of onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, saying the dossier “formed an essential part” of the application to spy on him.

Republicans have charged that the FBI used the dubious dossier, initially prepared as campaign opposition research for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, to get permission from a secret federal court to eavesdrop on Trump campaign and transition team communications.

The memo pointed out that in December 2017, then FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe testified that “no surveillance warrant would have been sought” from the FISA court “without the Steele dossier information.”

FBI, Democrats balk at President Trump's potential release of the FISA abuse memo.


The memo also shows that Steele was eventually cut off from the FBI for being chatty with the media. It says he was terminated in October 2016 as an FBI source “for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations—an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI.”

“Steele ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president'”

– FISA memo

But even after his termination, Steele remained in close contact with then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr. Ohr’s wife Nellie began working for Fusion GPS, the firm behind the dossier, as early as May 2016.

According to the memo, Steele told Ohr that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” But it says the FISA application process “ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations.

Christopher Steele, former British intelligence officer in London Tuesday March 7, 2017 where he has spoken to the media for the first time . Steele who compiled an explosive and unproven dossier on President Donald Trump’s purported activities in Russia has returned to work. Christopher Steele said Tuesday he is “really pleased” to be back at work in London after a prolonged period out of public view. He went into hiding in January. (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

The memo shows that after dossier author and former British spy Christopher Steele was cut off from the FBI for being chatty with the media,

“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,” the memo reads.

It also claims the FBI and DOJ used media reporting to lend credibility to the dossier, while the firm behind the dossier, Fusion GPS, briefed major American news outlets to include New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, New Yorker, Yahoo and Mother Jones.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Trump, who has read the memo, called the contents “a disgrace.”

“A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves,” he said.

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2017, file photo, Glenn R. Simpson, co-founder of the research firm Fusion GPS, arrives for a scheduled appearance before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has released a transcript from an interview with Simpson, the firm that commissioned a dossier of allegations about President Donald Trump's ties to Russia. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, the firm behind the memo.  (AP)

Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by Trump last year and has been publicly criticizing the president online, lambasted the memo as “dishonest and misleading”

“That’s it?” he tweeted. “Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen. For what? DOJ & FBI must keep doing their jobs.”

The memo stated that on October 21, 2016, the Justice Department and the FBI “sought and received” a FISA probable cause order authorizing “electronic surveillance” on Page from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. At the time, Page was a volunteer adviser on the Trump campaign.

According to the memo, Page’s FISA application “cited extensively” a September 23, 2016 Yahoo News article, which focused on Page’s trip to Moscow. The memo read that the “article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News.”

According to the memo, the FBI and DOJ obtained “one initial FISA warrant” targeting Page, and three FISA renewals from the FISA court. The statute required that every 90 days, a FISA order on an American citizen “must be renewed.”

The memo stated that then-FBI Director Comey signed three FISA applications for Page and McCabe signed one. Trump’s current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein also signed at least one FISA application for Page –malong with former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and former Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente.

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe announces the results of the national health care fraud takedown during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, U.S., July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein - RC187D475C60

The memo pointed out that in December 2017, then FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe testified that “no surveillance warrant would have been sought” from the FISA court “without the Steele dossier information.”

In a statement to Fox News, Page said the memo reveals an “unprecedented abuse of process.”

“The brave and assiduous oversight by Congressional leaders in discovering this unprecedented abuse of process represents a giant, historic leap in the repair of America’s democracy,” Page said.

He added: “Now that a few of the misdeeds against the Trump Movement have been partially revealed, I look forward to updating my pending legal action in opposition to DOJ this weekend in preparation for Monday’s next small step on the long, potholed road toward helping to restore law and order in our great country.”

The White House sent a letter to Intelligence Committe Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., accompanying the unredacted, declassified memo Friday.

“Consistent with this review and these standards, the president has determined that declassification of the Memorandum is appropriate,” White House Counsel to the president Don McGhan wrote.

The release of the four-page memo comes after the Intelligence Committee voted earlier this week, over Democratic objections, to make the document public.

This led to a rare and stunning rebuke from the bureau, which said Wednesday they had “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”

In a last-ditch objection, the top Democrat on the House committee claimed overnight that Nunes  had made “material changes” to the memo that was sent to the White House for review.

But Nunes’ office described the changes as minor and blasted the complaint as a “bizarre distraction from the abuses detailed in the memo.”

The White House had backed the memo’s release, calling for “transparency.”


Just more than two weeks, Republican lawmakers first drew attention to the memo, with some calling it “shocking,” “troubling” and “alarming” and one likening the details to KGB activity in Russia. They argued the memo should be immediately made public, leading to a social media #ReleaseTheMemo campaign.

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One comment on “House memo states disputed dossier was key to FBI’s FISA warrant to surveil members of Team Trump

  1. Küng Fu: Illuminism the Legend Continues

    Master Po: What is troubling you, Grasshopper?

    Kwai Chang: I am confused, Master.

    Master Po: What is confusing you, Grasshopper? Are you wondering how a groundhog in Pennsylvania can predict how much longer winter will last?

    Bill: Is it really Groundhog Day again?

    Kwai Chang: That is mysterious, Master, but I am actually confused about something else.

    Master Po: Well, then, perhaps you are wondering if the Philadelphia Eagles fans throw bottles and cans, hurling vulgar insults at New England Patriots fans at the Super Bowl in Minnesota whether Tom Brady will answer their colorful South Philly insults and witticisms with another F-bomb tantrum of his own?

    Hans Küng: I would like to comment on that…

    Kwai Chang: I am certain that Philadelphia Eagles fans will be respectful to Mister Tom Brady when he has an F-bomb tantrum, Master, but I am actually confused about something else.

    Master Po: Well, then, perhaps you are still wondering why American college students were triggered by Steve Martin’s “King Tut” song as a politically-incorrect microaggression of cultural appropriation, sending them in hysteria as crazed snowflakes searching for safe spaces?

    Steve Martin: Funky Tut! A wild and crazy guy, yeah!

    Kwai Chang: That is confusing and absurd, Master. I am certain that Mister Steve Martin did not mean any disrespect to Tutankhamun or the ancient Egyptians, but I am actually confused about something else.

    Master Po: Perhaps the curse of Tutankhamun has affected postmodern professors’ and students’ minds, Grasshopper. The realm of illusion presents many challenges and dangers through the deceptions of maya, as the wheel of karma turns around and around. But what is confusing you right now, Grasshopper?

    Kwai Chang: Forgive me, Master, but I am wondering how the FISA memo can be both a nothingburger and the biggest threat to democracy since the McCarthy hearings.

    J. Edgar Hoover: Interesting photographs and audio of you with Marilyn Monroe at Peter Lawford’s beach house party. It would be a shame for those to fall into the wrong hands…

    Master Po: Strange are the ways of the cycle of karma in the realm of illusion when searching for the flow of the Tao , are they not, Grasshopper? As the great philosopher Lao-Tzu has said in the Tao Te Ching. Long is our journey in search of the Tao. For who can know the way to San Jose in the arduous quest for satori? Many are the things in the search for the Tao that give rise to wonder, as Yin and Yang swing back and forth in the dialectic of the cycle of karma. If another woman claims that Al Franken has squeezed her behind, will Stuart Smalley return for more therapy and self-affirmation training on Saturday Night Live?

    Stuart Smalley: Well, now let’s all pause for a moment of Zen…

    Kwai Chang: Forgive me, Master. Perhaps the Deep State secret society wishes Mister Stuart Smalley to return to Saturday Night Live for his self-affirmations of compromised masculinity in order to spread confusion with gender-bending Frankfurt School mind games.

    Natasha Fatale: Where will Amerikanski FBI secret society meet to discuss strategy to debunk bourgeoiski FISA memo?

    Boris Badenov: Here is FBI headquarters. Here is secret society meeting safe house.

    Maxwell Smart: You’ll never believe this, Chief. The Deep State operatives used the pee pee dossier to obtain the FISA warrants.

    Agent Scully: Did you happen to see Alice or the Mad Hatter at the Deep State secret society party?

    Agent Mulder: No, but I’d bet money you’ll find the Red Queen if you follow the smoke to Chappaqua.

    The Chief: Max, I thought you were supposed to go to the Illuminati secret society party in Georgetown dressed as the White Rabbit.

    Maxwell Smart: Couldn’t I go dressed as Zorro or the Lone Ranger?

    Natasha Fatale: Is good costume for bourgeoiski.

    Siegfried: Schmart is very close to unravelling the truth about the pee pee dossier und the secret society.

    Mustafa: Alright. Alright. We made the whole thing up to cover up the fact that the secret society killed Seth Rich.

    Columbo: Oh. Well, what do ya know? All these Alinskyites in the FBI, the DOJ, Fusion GPS, the Deep State, and the Hillary campaign…they all knew one another from long before and were meeting in a secret society clubhouse.

    Inspector Clouseau: Wee wee dossier?

    Fearless Leader: Confusion is the essence of every devious Alinskyite operation. Release the fruitcake Cultural Marxists to begin the next phase of cultural hysteria!

    Doctor Strangelove: Ja, ja. Zat ist ze essence of every Alinskyite operation. But you are supposed to keep zat a secret! If you tell all the secrets from the secret society meeting, it’s not a secret anymore!

    Archie: Did ya hear that over there, Meathead? That’s why they got them pinko fruitcake Frankfurt School social theorists over at Columbia and NYU, along with the rest of the Illuminati eggheads. To keep you’s liberal hippie types confused and in hysteria, running around like chickens with your heads cut off and what not, while the secret society tries to crash the economy and the banks so’s they can buy up all the real estate nice and cheap. You Lefty types have been usin’ that Alinsky playbook too long for your own good.

    Meathead: Gloria! Ma! Somebody help me out here!

    General Ripper: How’s that for your post-war pinko Commie conspiracy!
    To get American men confused, questioning their own masculinity and virility through Frankfurt School gender bending operations and Communist subversion.

    Archie: Yeah. That’s why the Alinskyites got them gender-benders running around screamin’ about oppression and microaggressions while the Rockefellers corner the market on pay toilets.

    General Ripper: Mandrake, did you ever wonder why they put Floyd and Gomer on The Andy Griffith Show? At the same time that fluoridation of water and mass vaccinations were sterilizing the population?

    General Turgidson: You do see more fruitcakes around these days whooping up hysteria in the colleges.

    Opie: Gomer and Floyd are fruitcakes, aren’t they, paw?

    Captain Kirk: Are you feeling confused, Spock?

    Kierkegaard: I am feeling anxious.

    Ginger: That must be why the professor is confused.

    Mary Ann: It could be all the soy in processed foods.

    Hegel: It’s all part of the dialectic.

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