10:47, January 29 91 0 abajournal.com

2018-01-29 10:47:07
Secret memo hints GOP could be targeting Deputy AG Rosenstein, report says

A secret GOP memo hints that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could be targeted for his handling of a surveillance request against Carter Page, a campaign associate of President Donald Trump.

The memo says the Justice Department relied partly on information compiled by Christopher Steele when it initially persuaded the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to approve surveillance of Page, according to three anonymous sources who spoke with the New York Times. Rosenstein approved extension of the surveillance last spring.

Steele is the former British spy who wrote the unverified Russian dossier financed by Democrats.

The Times describes the memo “as a much-disputed document that paints the investigation into Russian election meddling as tainted from the start.” It could be an indication that Republicans are seizing on Rosenstein’s role in approving the surveillance extension to undermine the special counsel probe, according to the article.

Page filed a defamation suit against publications that reported he met with officials who had ties to Vladimir Putin.

Trump “has long been mistrustful” of Rosenstein, and is reportedly telling associates he is frustrated with the deputy attorney general, the Times reports. CNN also reports that Trump has Rosenstein “in his crosshairs” in a story based on four anonymous sources.

The House Intelligence Committee could vote as early as Monday on whether to declassify the memo and make it public. If approval is given, Trump would have five days to block the release.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd has said the memo draws on classified information and it would be “extraordinarily reckless” to release it.