U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday authorized the publication of a controversial classified memo alleging the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Justice Department abused their surveillance powers during the Russia probe, the White House confirmed.
Democrats and intelligence officials objected to its release on the grounds that it provided a selective, politicized view of raw intelligence matter.
The memo focused on the court-approved wiretapping of Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign who was put under electronic surveillance by the FBI.
A statement from the White House quickly followed and while the language was not as strong, it did say that the memo raised serious concerns about the integrity of decisions taken by the FBI and the US Department of Justice.
He said: "I look forward to updating my pending legal action in opposition to Department of Justice 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 meeting follows two days of, from some corners, public and ardent blowback to the GOP memo, which was described alternately as "irresponsible" and a "dud" - and, from other corners, reinforcement that it exposed dangerous excesses and improprieties by top leadership at the FBI.
No one at either the FBI nor the DOJ disclosed to the court that the Steele dossier was paid for by an opposition political campaign. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok.
The memo saga sucked up all the oxygen in Washington, D.C., this week, but it remains to be seen whether it proves a tactical victory or a strategic one. "The contents of this memo do not - in any way - discredit his investigation".
Q: What does this have to do with the Russia investigation?
Trump has complained bitterly about Rosenstein, who is overseeing Mueller's inquiry after Attorney General Jeff Sessions stepped aside. He said it was "very possible" committee Republicans had "coordinated the whole effort with the White House". That revelation promoted the Justice Department's appointment of a special counsel to run the Russia investigation. Mitch McConnell, who despite occasional tough talk, has become as much a compliant wingman for this President as the rest of them.
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI last year.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer are pressing Speaker Paul Ryan to stop the release.
The assurance comes despite reporters asking Mr Trump on Friday if he had confidence in the Deputy Attorney General and the President replying: "You figure that one out". Page had stopped advising the campaign sometime around the end of that summer. "I cannot in good consciousness attend the #SOTU address after the president went so low in his remarks about Haiti & African nations".
Page has not been charged with a crime, and has accused the government of improperly eavesdropping on him.
But as usual, what the The Memo actually says is far less relevant to Donald Trump than what his supplicative water-carriers in the right-wing media say that it says. But the memo doesn't say whether there might have been other evidence beyond the dossier - foreign intelligence intercepts or reporting from human sources - that also supported the warrant request. Jones, according to the committee review of classified information, has not "begun to fight", even though ordered to do so.
Trump fired FBI chief James Comey, who who had been in charge of the Russia investigation, in May. In part to cover itself, it launched the so-called 'Russia probe.' Its members are personally, deeply interested in keeping the public from seeing the documents concerning these activities.
The dossier, which was compiled by former MI6 officer Christopher Steele and alleges a number of improper ties between Trump and Russia, has become a central point of controversy as the Russia investigation picks up steam.
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The Justice Department apparently disagrees with Trump's assessment of the Russia probe. "And that work will always matter more ". Although, the memo alleged the Democratic connection to the dossier had not been disclosed at the time of the application.
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