On Friday, February the Second, 2018, the highly anticipated Nunes Memo was released. This memo was allowed to be declassified by the president himself. One of its main contributors is Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
What It Is
This memo is part of the committee’s Republican-led inquiry into the potential corruption and bias against President Trump from the FBI and the Department of Justice. In the many things this memo claims, it puts into question if many top officials at FBI and the Justice Department acted improperly when they put Carter Page, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, under surveillance. While Carter Page does have Russian business ties and seems to openly sympathize with the Russian foreign policy, the memo alleges that this surveillance was not authorized properly & was possibly politically motivated. This all started in July 2016. At this time, Mr.Page flew to Moscow and met with Russian officials. Naturally, this raised questions with many in the United States. In reaction to this, the FBI and the Department of Justice placed an application for a special type of warrant. This warrant was placed under application in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. This type of court approves surveillance warrants that pertain to national security and foreign intelligence. This court then granted the warrant.
The memo claims that the surveillance was not properly evaluated by the court that grants FISA applications at the time it was allowed to begin. It argues this because the “warrant” relied on the Steele dossier document for its granting. This document was written by former British spy Christopher Steele. It went on to claim that there was an existence of a conspiracy between Donald Trump and the Russians. Mr. Steele’s investigation into this was also in part & indirectly funded by the Clinton campaign. That is where the political motivation comes in. More clearly, it was funded by the Democratic National Committee and a law firm that was connected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Also, keep in mind that the FISA application cited many parts of a Yahoo News article from September 2016. This Yahoo article was about the details concerning Mr. Page’s trip to Moscow. The information in that article was from Christopher Steele coincidentally. Mr. Steele would also be suspended & terminated as an FBI informant. This for disclosing the relationship he had with the bureau to the media.
Other things the memo discuss is that Steele told a senior Justice Department official that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” The memo also points out that the FISA application to surveil Mr. Page also included information about George Papadopoulos, another Trump campaign associate.
Read the full memo here.