White House nearing decision on whether to approve release of memo Democrats say refutes GOP allegations against FBI, DOJ

The White House is nearing a decision on whether to approve the release of a classified memo Democrats say refutes Republican allegations of FBI and Department of Justice bias and abuse of government surveillance powers.

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The 10-page document was written by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee as a response to the four-page memo from Republican committee staff accusing the FBI and DOJ of improperly seeking surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Specifically, the GOP memo accuses law enforcement officials of relying heavily on uncorroborated allegations about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia in applications to an intelligence court to surveil Page, whom authorities suspected at the time of being a Russian agent, arguing that the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele “formed an essential part” of the Page application in October of 2016.

Victoria Jones/PA Wires/AP
Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who set-up Orbis Business Intelligence, compiled a dossier on Donald Trump, in London, where he has spoken to the media for the first time, in this file photo dated March 7, 2017.

It also alleges that DOJ official did not disclose to the court that the dossier was funded in part by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and that the Page surveillance application contained information about Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, which “triggered” the opening of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign and allegations of ties to Russia.

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Teen Vogue
Hillary Clinton speaks onstage during The Teen Vogue Summit, Dec. 2, 2017, in Playa Vista, Calif.

The minority memo describes in greater detail why law enforcement officials wanted to conduct surveillance…

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