Democrats release counter-memo over Russia probe

ANI | Updated: Feb 25, 2018 15:28 IST

Washington D.C. [United States], Feb.25 (ANI): The US House Intelligence Committee has released a classified Democratic memo in redacted form that counters Republicans' claims that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) abused government surveillance powers in its Russia probe.

The Democratic memo was released after days of negotiations between committee Democrats and the Justice Department over redactions of classified material.

Parts of the 10-page document, written by top Democrat Adam Schiff of California, were redacted to avoid revealing intelligence-gathering sources and methods.

Releasing his party's document on Saturday, Schiff tweeted, "Some time ago, Republicans on our committee released a declassified memo that omitted and distorted key facts in order to mislead the public and impugn the integrity of the FBI. We can now tell you what they left out."

His tweet contained a link to the 10-page, partially redacted document, which was posted to the panel's website.

The memo defended both the FBI and Justice Department's role in obtaining the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant.

The memo argued that the FBI had valid justification for obtaining warrants to run surveillance on Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump, long before it received information in a dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, reported China's state-run news agency Xinhua.

President Donald Trump responded on Twitter, calling the Democratic memo "a total political and legal BUST" that he said "just confirms all of the terrible things that were done".

The president added: "SO ILLEGAL!"

In early February, Trump declassified a four-page memo which was crafted by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, and commissioned by Devin Nunes, the panel's Republican chairman.

Both memos are part of the House Intelligence Committee's ongoing investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin and Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (ANI)