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Friday, February 2, 2018

GOP Memo Detailing FBI SURVEILLANCE ABUSES Against Trump Campaign

President Donald Trump, accompanied by House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., left, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., right, arrives to speak at the 2018 House and Senate Republican Member Conference at The Greenbrier, in White Sulphur Springs, WVa., Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Dave Boyer and Dan Boylan

Republicans released a long-awaited memo Friday detailing government surveillance abuses, showing that the FBIwould not have obtained a surveillance warrant for the Trump campaign without using information from a dubious partisan dossier.
The memo quotes former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who abruptly retired earlier than expected on Monday, as having given testimony that a surveillance warrant would not have been obtained without the dossier. The president had publicly accused Mr. McCabe of partisan motivations before he left his post.
The memo also portrays Christopher Steele, the British spy who compiled the dossier, as “desperate” to prevent Mr. Trump from being elected president.
President Trump on Friday called the abuses detailed in the memo “terrible.”
“I think it’s a disgrace, what’s happening in our country,” Mr. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves, and much worse than that.”
Asked if he has confidence in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Mr. Trump said, “You figure that one out.”
House GOP investigators were preparing to release the memo Friday after Mr. Trump approved declassifying it. Republican lawmakers have said the FBI used the dossier funded by Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign and created by the liberal research firm Fusion/GPS to get permission from a secret federal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court to eavesdrop on Trump campaign officials and transition team communications.
“Deputy Director McCabe testified before the [House Intelligence] Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant
would have been sought from the [court] without the Steele dossier information,” the memo states.
The president asked the House Intelligence Committee to release the memo without redactions.
“I sent it over to Congress, and they will do what they’re going to do, whatever they do is fine,” Mr. Trump said. “It was de-classified. and let’s see what happens. A lot of people should be ashamed.”
Hours before the expected release of the memo that challenges FBI spying abuses, Mr. Trump criticized the Justice Department in an early-morning tweet, saying investigations have been “politicized” by Democrats.
“The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans - something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago,” Trump wrote. “Rank & File are great people!”
Top Justice Department and FBI officials, including the president’s hand-picked FBI director, Christopher Wray, appealed to the White House unsuccessfully this week not to release the memo, saying it gives an inaccurate and misleading portrayal of the agencies’ actions.
Mr. Trump and his advisers reviewed the four-page document this week, and the president approved of the memo’s release.
Rep. Jeff Duncan, South Carolina Republican who read the memo prior to its release, predicted it “will shake the [FBI] down to its core — showing Americans just how the agency was weaponized by the Obama officials/DNC/HRC to target political adversaries.”

• Sally Persons contributed to this story.

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