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- The key sentence in the controversial memo authored by House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes can be found at the end of the third page.
- “Furthermore, [FBI] Deputy Director [Andrew] McCabe testified before the committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.”
The much-hyped memo from Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, contains one key sentence on which Republicans will look to seize.
Found at the end of the third page of the four-page document, it reads: “Furthermore, [FBI] Deputy Director [Andrew] McCabe testified before the committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.”
The memo said the Justice Department would not have sought a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign official Carter Page if not for former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele’s controversial dossier, which Republicans have chided for being a partisan document funded by Democratic interests.
The Steele dossier, which had funding tied to the Democratic National Committee and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign, contained a number of salacious claims about US President Donald Trump and his campaign. It was later provided to the FBI and, as the memo claims, was used as the basis for the FISA warrant on Page. Some of the dossier’s claims have been confirmed, but the status of many of the more salacious claims remain unverified.
Trump declassified the memo on Friday, even though his appointees at the Department of Justice and FBI – including FBI Director Christopher Wray, whom Trump nominated to replace former FBI Director James Comey – pushed him not to authorize its release.
Justice Department officials have called the memo reckless and a threat to national security, while Democrats and some Republicans have slammed the memo as a partisan hit job.