09:13, February 26 294 0 abajournal.com

2018-02-26 09:13:04
Democratic memo says surveillance request for Trump campaign adviser met warrant rigor

Republicans had charged in their own memo that the dossier partly financed by the Clinton campaign was “an essential part” of the application for a foreign intelligence warrant, but the Democratic connection was not disclosed.

The Democratic memo, however, says the FBI disclosed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the dossier author was “likely looking for information that could be used to discredit” Donald Trump, report the Washington Post, Politico and the New York Times.

Both memos were written by members of the House Intelligence Committee. The redacted Democratic memo was released after a two-week review for classified information.

The Democratic memo says the target of the surveillance—Carter Page—had already been interviewed by the FBI about his contacts with Russian intelligence six months before the agency received the dossier in September 2016. “The FBI had an independent basis for investigating Page’s motivations and actions,” the memo said.

According to the Democratic memo, the warrant request “met the rigor, transparency and evidentiary basis” for a warrant. The request showed evidence of Russia’s interference in the election, Russian links and outreach to Trump campaign officials, Page’s history with Russian intelligence, and Page’s suspicious activities in Moscow in 2016, the memo said.

The memo said law enforcement used a “multipronged rationale” in seeking surveillance that include Page’s past interactions with Russian spies. The initial surveillance provided “valuable intelligence” that was used in renewal applications, the Democratic memo said.

The Democratic memo also responded to an assertion in the Republican memo that the warrant application cited a Yahoo News article that was based on information leaked by the dossier author, former British spy Christopher Steele.

The article was included in the application to show that Page had denied the suspected meeting in Moscow, according to teh Democratic memo.

Nor did the warrant application omit material information about Steele, the memo said. Steele had previously been a confidential informant for the FBI, with a history of credible reporting on Russia, and had been compensated. The Republican memo said the FBI had authorized payment to Steele for the dossier information, but the Republicans neglected to mention the payment was canceled and never made, the Democratic memo says.

Also, the FBI properly notified the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court when it terminated Steele as a source because of his leaks to the media, the memo says.

Page filed a defamation suit in September that called the Yahoo story “perhaps the most dangerous, reckless, irresponsible and historically instrumental moments in modern-day sensational crime story journalism.”