Donald Trump has allowed the release of the controversial memo that alleges the FBI abused power in its investigation into ostensible Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
Devin Nunes, the House intelligence committee chairman, made the Republican secret memo public on February 2, which is regarded by Democrats as an attempt to delegitimize Robert Mueller’s probe into the alleged collusion between the Kremlin and Trump’s campaign that “influenced” the outcome of US presidential race.
The four-page memo alleges bias against Donald Trump at the FBI and Justice Department, claims that its findings “raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)” and “represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuse related to the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] process.”
Nunes said in a statement Friday that he hopes the release will “shine a light on this alarming series of events so we can make reforms that allow the American people to have full faith and confidence in their governing institutions.”
According to the released document, a dossier assembled by former British spy Cristopher Steele was used as a source to extend surveillance on Trump’s adviser Carter Page because he spoke with the media. The memo suggests that Steele was “desperate that Donald Trump not got elected and was passionate about him not being president,” which is a “clear evidence of Steele’s bias.” The memo also alleges that Steele “was suspended and then terminated 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.”
“I think it’s a disgrace what’s happening in our country. A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves,” Trump said, referring to the matter.
The FBI Agents Association on Friday said in a statement that agents “have not, and will not, allow partisan politics to distract us from our solemn commitment to our mission.”
“The men and women of the FBI put their lives on the line every day in the fight against terrorists and criminals because of their dedication to our country and the Constitution. The American people should know that they continue to be well-served by the world’s preeminent law enforcement agency. FBI Special Agents have not, and will not, allow partisan politics to distract us from our solemn commitment to our mission.”
The memo was compiled by Devin Nunes and alleges that DOJ officials, including former FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, were spying on Donald Trump while he was running for president. Democrats, for their part, explicitly claimed that the memo was misleading and based on a selective use of highly classified information, meant to undermine Robert Mueller’s probe. President Trump, as well as Russian authorities, has denied all accusations of collusion and the Kremlin’s meddling in US elections.