Comey: Memo on FBI, DOJ Violations 'Destroyed Trust' in Intelligence Community

Jocelyn Augustino  Redux

A Republican on the House Intelligence Committee who voted in favor of releasing a controversial GOP memo alleging abuse of government surveillance powers in the Russia investigation said he doesn't agree with President Donald Trump's claim that the document "totally vindicates" him. "It was one of the criticisms of people last week and before that who had never seen the memo who said, you know, this is to impugn the integrity and the work of the special counsel".

Even as Democrats described it as inaccurate, some Republicans quickly cited the memo - released over the objections of the FBI and Justice Department - in their arguments that Mueller's investigation is politically tainted.

"No one, including the president, is above the law", he added.

There is speculation that President Trump might, in response to the memo, fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw one of the renewals of FISA warrants on Carter Page.

The Page warrant was not issued until October 21, 2016, and by then, Page was no longer affiliated with the Trump Campaign.

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump disembark from Air Force One upon arrival at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The four-page GOP memo it addresses, on alleged Justice Department surveillance abuses concerning a campaign adviser for Trump, said federal law was broken in spying on the adviser.

Rosenstein and Wray this week lobbied Trump's chief of staff John Kelly, and Paul Ryan, the top Republican in the House of Representatives, against the release. "This memo is not an indictment of the FBI or the Department of Justice", Ryan said.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes published the memo several minutes after Trump approved its declassification. Apart from publication of the memo, Trump's own stinging attacks on top Justice Department and FBI officials fuelled the suspicions further.

The document was also sent to House Speaker Paul Ryan's office, he said.

In a follow-up tweet, Trump quoted from a recent speech given by American activist and president of conservative watchdog operation Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton, in which he alleged the Democrats attempted to conceal their funding of a dossier that accused Trump of personal ties to the Kremlin.

Nunes addressed reports saying the memo is based on documents the committee hasn't read, noting Rep. Trey Gowdy reviewed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act surveillance applications the memo is based on, then briefed the rest of the committee.

Democratic members of Congress described the memo as misleading and incomplete.

But he said the Russia probe should continue regardless.

In a rare statement released Wednesday, the bureau expressed "grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy". "And then they got a warrant of someone in the Trump campaign using opposition research paid for the democratic party and the Hillary Clinton campaign".

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