Nunes memo: A list of officials involved in the controversial GOP memo

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Nunes memo: A list of officials involved in the controversial GOP memo

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Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, walks away from a meeting with House GOP members, on Capitol Hill January 30, 2018 in Washington, DC.

On Friday, President Donald Trump approved the release of a controversial congressional GOP memo alleging surveillance abuses by the FBI.

The disputed memo from the GOP and Rep. Devin Nunes is considered “the most explicit Republican effort yet to discredit the FBI’s investigation into Trump and Russia” and alleges that there was an anti-Trump bias under the Obama administration that influenced the investigation, CNN reported.

It specifically alleges that the FBI relied on a private dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele in order to obtain a warrant to monitor Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Steele was retained by Fusion GPS, a research firm hired by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee to find information on Trump. The dossier alleged that in 2016, Page had plotted with Russia’s top oil executives to influence U.S. foreign policy for a huge profit.

The memo charges that FBI agents improperly failed to disclose that Steele’s work had Democratic funding and that Steele had openly expressed dislike for Trump. 

But FBI officials argued the memo “mischaracterizes underlying intelligence and omits facts about evidence the bureau used to obtain its FISA warrants,” Politicoreported.

Both the Justice Department and the American intelligence community opposed the release of the memo, which is based on classified information.

Former FBI Director James Comey criticized the decision to release the memo on Twitter.

"That's it? (The) dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House (Intelligence) Committee, destroyed trust with (the) intelligence community, damaged relationship with FISA court and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen," Comey wrote. "For what? DOJ & FBI must keep doing their jobs."

Here’s a list of the major people involved in the document:

President Donald Trump

  • Authorized the release of the memo, despite pleas from intelligence and DOJ officials not to do so
  • Has been critical of his own DOJ throughout his administration

House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes

  • California Republican who has served as chairman since 2015
  • Served on Trump’s transition team
  • Denied there was any contact between Trump campaign and Russia last year
  • Stepped aside from the investigation after announcing the intelligence community had “incidentally collected” communications from the Trump transition team
  • Led effort to release memo, which was put together by his staff

House Intelligence ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff

  • California Democrat and Nunes’ counterpart on House Intelligence Committee
  • Major critic of Nunes’ and said he should step aside from the Russia investigation
  • Argued the memo was "rife with factual inaccuracies" and that Republicans had changed it before releasing it or getting approval from the White House
  • “The FBI had good reason to be concerned about Carter Page and would have been derelict in its responsibility to protect the country had it not sought a FISA warrant,” Schiff said Friday.
  • He and other Democrats have created their own memo to address the events in Nunes’, but committee Republicans have blocked its release. House Speaker Paul Ryan said he will back the Democratic memo’s release once lawmakers review it.

Former British spy Christopher Steele

  • The memo alleges FBI relied on a private intelligence dossier compiled by Steele to apply for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to monitor former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.
  • The FBI says the memo omits facts about the evidence used to obtain its FISA warrants. “The FISA law is designed to make monitoring an American citizen possible only in cases where there is very strong evidence of wrongdoing, and can only be obtained when a larger FBI investigation has already begun,” Politico reported.
  • The dossier from Steele alleged that in 2016, Page had plotted with Russia’s top oil executives to influence U.S. foreign policy for a huge profit.
  • Retained by Fusion GPS, a research firm hired by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee to find information on Trump
  • Memo says FBI agents failed to disclose that Steele’s work was had Democratic funding and casts Steele as biased and unstrustworthy
  • Openly expressed dislike for Trump

Former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page

  • Allegedly plotted in 2016 with Russia’s top oil executives to influence U.S. foreign policy for a massive profit, according to the Steele dossier
  • Was foreign policy advisor to Trump campaign
  • Former Moscow-based investment banker and energy executive
  • Resigned after reports about his contacts with Russia surfaced, but denied collaboration
  • Admitted to meeting with Russian government officials when he took a trip to Moscow in June 2016 to deliver a speech. Steele’s dossier claims that Page met with the head of Russia’s oil conglomerate Rosneft.
  • Page is a key part of memo, which accuses DOJ officials of obtaining a FISA warrant on Page by using an unverified dossier from a former British intelligence official (Steele). The dossier was funded by opponents of Trump.

FBI Director Christopher Wray

  • Worked for DOJ under Bush administration
  • Hand-picked by Trump to lead law enforcement agency after he fired former FBI director James Comey
  • Opposed the memo’s release and has been highly critical of it

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

  • Wrote a highly critical assessment of Comey’s performance before he was fired
  • Appointed special council Robert Mueller to lead Russia investigation, which Trump didn’t like
  • Argued against release of the memo

James Comey

  • Signed off on FISA warrants to surveil Carter on behalf of the FBI and DOJ
  • Former director of the FBI, fired by Trump last year

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe

  • Approved FISA warrants to surveil Carter on behalf of the FBI and DOJ
  • According to the memo, McCabe in 2017 told the House Intelligence Committee that no surveillance would’ve been sought without Steel’s information, the New York Times reported.
  • Trump questioned McCabe's impartiality in the Russia prove and called him out for his wife receiving a donation from a Hillary Clinton political ally during her failed run for state office in Virginia, Politicoreported.
  • He announced his resignation as deputy director from the FBI on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

Sally Yates

  • Approved FISA warrants to surveil Carter on behalf of the FBI and DOJ
  • Fired by Trump last year

Dana Boente

  • Approved FISA warrants to surveil Carter on behalf of the FBI and DOJ
  • Named FBI’s general counsel by Wray last month

Reporter Michael Isikoff, Yahoo News

  • The memo stated the FISA warrant for Page exclusively cited a September 2016 article by Isikoff that focused on Page’s trip to Moscow in July 2016.
  • The article included information derived from Steele’ private dossier, which Steele leaked to Yahoo News.
  • According to NBC News, the memo claimed the FISA application for Page "incorrectly" stated that Steele had not provided information to Yahoo News, citing the fact that Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo and other media outlets at the direction of Fusion GPS.

FULL TEXT OF MEMO:

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