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Nunes memo

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Nunes Memo
The US Justice Department warned that the public release of a classified memo alleging abuses in FBI surveillance tactics would be "extraordinarily reckless"[1]

The Nunes memo is a four-page memo written by Republican staff members for U.S. Representative Devin Nunes, that alleges that the Federal Bureau of Investigation "may have relied on politically motivated or questionable sources" to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant in the early phases of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[2] Nunes is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) and a supporter of FISA surveillance extension.[3][4][5] Nunes had previously offered to step aside from the HPSCI Russia investigation after an inquiry into ethics violation and his secret coordination with the White House, although he then began his own secret "parallel" investigation and later claimed he had never recused.

Republican legislators favoring public release of the memo on transparency grounds argued that the memo contains evidence that the FISA warrant process was misused by FBI employees to sabotage the Trump presidency.[6] They cited the alleged excessive dependence on allegations in the Trump-Russia dossier in obtaining the warrant from the FISA court.[7] Political allies of Donald Trump have attempted to use the memo to pivot attention away from the Special Counsel investigation of the Trump presidential campaign's role in Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[6] Prior to the release of the memo, sources reported that Trump told his associates that release of the memo would discredit the investigation.[8][9][10]

Anticipation of the release of the memo sparked controversy, mainly along political lines. In a rare break from the Trump administration, the FBI expressed "grave concerns" about the accuracy of the memo.[11][12] House Republicans released the memo on the morning of February 2, 2018.

A social media campaign, under the hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo, emerged in mid-January 2018 to publicly release the memo despite some of its classified contents. Russian-linked bots on Twitter helped spread the controversial hashtag.[13][14][15]

Background[edit]

The FBI takes seriously its obligations to the FISA Court and its compliance with procedures overseen by career professionals in the Department of Justice and the FBI. We are committed to working with the appropriate oversight entities to ensure the continuing integrity of the FISA process.
With regard to the House Intelligence Committee's memorandum, the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it. As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy.

The FBI's statement on the Nunes memo, CNBC[16]

Adam Schiff alleging Nunes of making material changes to memo after committee vote

The memo was produced by a small group of House Republicans and staff, led by Devin Nunes, as part of a secret partisan investigation (Democratic members of the relevant committee were not informed of the investigation)[clarification needed] into how the FBI used the Trump–Russia dossier.[17] Adam Schiff, the Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, commented that Nunes hadn't read all of the relevant source material, though Nunes had argued for months that the FBI and DOJ had taken part in a conspiracy.[18] Nunes had previously recused himself from the committee's investigation into Russia's interference in US elections,[18] due to a House Ethics investigation into Nunes' secret coordination with the White House. The House Ethics Committee stated that "Nunes may have made unauthorized disclosures of classified information, in violation of House Rules, law, regulations, or other standards of conduct" (the ethics investigation ended when the committee was unable to obtain the relevant classified information).[19][20] However, after offering to step aside from the investigation into Russian interference, Nunes began his own "parallel" investigation, whose purpose appeared to be to undermine the original ongoing investigation.[21]

Contents[edit]

The memo states that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein approved a FISA application to extend the surveillance of Carter Page into the spring of 2017. The memo accuses the FBI and the Justice Department of failing to provide enough information about Christopher Steele to a FISA court judge.[22][23] The memo "suggests that the FBI may have relied on politically motivated or questionable sources to justify its request for a secret surveillance warrant" in the early phases of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[2] Page himself, however had been under FISA surveillance for awhile and the successful renewal of the application documented by the memo means that the surveillance was producing "pertinent to intelligence-related collection" in regard the issue of Trump campaign's potential collusion with Russia.[24]

People who have read Nunes' memo have said it is inaccurate and that it omits key information on evidence other than Steele's dossier which was used in the application for the FISA warrant.[25]

The memo also inadvertently revealed that the spark for the FBI investigation into potential collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russians was not the Steele dossier, but rather the comments made by Trump adviser George Papadopoulos, who bragged to an Australian diplomat in May 2016 that the Trump campaign obtained "dirt" on Hillary Clinton from the Russians.[24]

January 19 events[edit]

The extension of the mass surveillance programs under the same FISA methods allegedly found problematic by the memo was signed into law on January 19, 2018.[26][27][4][28] A social media campaign emerged in January 19, 2018[29] to publicly release the memo despite some of its classified contents. Russian-linked bots on Twitter helped spread the controversial hashtag "#ReleaseTheMemo".[13][14][15] The memo, and its release, have been part of an effort by Trump's political allies to shift focus away from the ongoing Special Counsel investigation and to portray the investigators' conduct as the real scandal.[6]

Shortly after becoming a trending topic, the memo drew polarizing reactions from government officials and the media, generally along party lines.[30][31] The Justice Department (DOJ) released a letter to Congress calling a release of the memo without review reckless because it could expose intelligence sources and methods, while President Donald Trump called for its public release.[32] FBI Director Christopher Wray was allowed to read the memo and did so on January 28. On January 29, the majority of the House Intelligence Committee disregarded the DOJ's warnings and voted to approve its release.[33] In response to the memo, Democrats in the House Intelligence Committee drafted a ten-page rebuttal memo on January 24. Both memos were released to the full house.[34] The Republicans also voted against making public the competing memo Democrats had crafted, and rejected a proposal to give the Justice Department and FBI more time to vet the document. The President has five days to review it before it can be released.[35]

January 29, 2018 – HPSCI Meeting Transcript

Purpose[edit]

Carter Page has been the subject of FISA warrants by the FBI going back to 2014 when he was alleged to have been colluding with the Russian government or having knowingly worked as an agent on its behalf.[36] He originally came to the attention of the FBI counterintelligence unit prior to his becoming a Trump campaign adviser, when it learned that Russian spies were trying to use him as a source of information and tried to recruit him as an agent.[37][38] Subsequently Page claimed that the information he provided to the Russians was "innocuous".[37] The FISA warrants on Page have since been renewed more than once.[22] The fact that the Trump Department of Justice sought to renew the FISA warrant in 2017 shows that it had reasons to believe that Page was acting as a Russian agent.[22]

Republicans posit that politically-motivated FBI employees have attempted to undermine the Trump presidency, citing the Trump–Russia dossier which was reportedly used as evidence for obtaining a FISA warrant to wiretap Carter Page.[6] According to this argument, the FBI did not disclose to the FISA court that their request for a warrant was dependent on evidence in the Trump-Russia dossier, a document funded in part by the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).[7]

Trump's political allies have attempted for weeks to move attention away from the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[6] In the hours before the expected release of the memo, sources reported that Trump told his associates that release of the memo would discredit the investigation.[8]

Social media influence[edit]

According to the Hamilton 68 project run by the bipartisan Alliance for Securing Democracy which tracks Russian propaganda efforts on Twitter, #ReleaseTheMemo was promoted by Russian twitter bot accounts, with a 230,000 percent spike in the promotion of the hashtag by these accounts.[39][14][13][15] However, Twitter stated that a "preliminary analysis of available geographical data for tweets with the hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo ... has not identified any significant activity connected to Russia with respect to tweets posting original content to this hashtag."[40] According to an analysis by CNN the hashtag was pushed by over a thousand newly created accounts, of which 460 were without a profile picture. CNN also noted that the hashtag was promoted by prominent American conservatives and Republicans, including Donald Trump Jr. and Mark Meadows.[41] WikiLeaks offered a reward to anyone submitting the document to them using the hashtag with a link to their upload site.[13]

Responses[edit]

On January 19, 2018, a growing number of Republicans began calling for the release of the memo.[42][43] In response to news surrounding the memo, Fox News host Sean Hannity directed a message at former FBI Director Robert Mueller, saying, "Your witch hunt is now over. Time to close the doors."[43] Donald Trump, Jr. has also been a major proponent of its release.

Democrats have pushed back on the memo, with Adam Schiff, Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, releasing a statement saying it is "[r]ife with factual inaccuracies" and is "meant only to give Republican House members a distorted view of the FBI."[44] In response to the memo, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee drafted a ten-page rebuttal memo on January 24.[45][46] However, it was denied a public release on the same day the original memo was approved for release.[33]

Republicans sought a committee vote that would request the release through the President, which would keep the memo confined to committee members until the President responded.[47] The memo could be made public by a vote in the House of Representatives if the President does not act or denies the request, but no vote is scheduled for the full House. Glenn Greenwald called the campaign "a bizarre spectacle" since the Republicans are "holding a document that only they can release, while pretending to be advocating for its release."[48] Nunes and the House Intelligence Committee have denied access to the memo to the Senate Intelligence Committee and to the FBI, who stated a desire to investigate any alleged wrongdoing.[47] The Justice Department sent a letter to Nunes and called the release of the memo reckless.[1] Nunes' panel also refused to allow the FBI and the Department of Justice to view the memo, despite their requests.[49]

Adam Schiff released a statement and a letter to Devin Nunes at 19:00 on January 31, 2018, stating: "BREAKING: Discovered late tonight that Chairman Nunes made material changes to the memo he sent to White House – changes not approved by the Committee. White House therefore reviewing a document the Committee has not approved for release."[50][51] In response Peter King who also sits on the Intelligence Committee said "My understanding is this was agreed on beforehand among Republicans. There's one small part in the memo which in no way affects the substance in the memo" which removed "three or four words" at the request of the FBI. [52]

In authorizing the release the memo, the White House in a statement from the Counsel to the President stressed that "the Memorandum reflects the judgments of its congressional authors" and that the reason for its release was "significant public interest in the memorandum".[53]

Revelation about the Nunes memo and its surrounding controversy gave rise to comparisons to the Saturday night massacre, alluding to the firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox by US President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal.[54][55][56][57]

See also[edit]

  • Dismissal of James Comey
  • Links between Trump associates and Russian officials
  • Trump Tower wiretapping allegations

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Jarrett, Laura (January 24, 2018). "Justice Dept.: 'Reckless' to release Nunes memo without review". CNN.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Parker, Ashley; Helderman, Rosalind S.; Dawsey, Josh; Leonnig, Carol D. (January 27, 2018). "Trump sought release of classified Russia memo, putting him at odds with Justice Department". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved January 29, 2018. investigation into Russian meddling," "written by staff members for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and suggests that the FBI may have relied on politically motivated or questionable sources to justify its request for a secret surveillance warrant in the investigation’s early phase.
  3. "Nunes Statement on Passage of FISA 702 Bill". U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. January 11, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Krieg, Gregory. "Why are GOP surveillance hawks so excited to 'release the memo'?". CNN. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  5. Yuhas, Alan (February 1, 2018). "Who is Devin Nunes and why is he sowing confusion in the Russia inquiry?". the Guardian. Retrieved February 2, 2018. he has strongly supported government surveillance powers since he was elected in 2002 to Congress
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Savage, Charlie (January 30, 2018). "The Real Aim of the Nunes Memo Is the Mueller Investigation". The New York Times.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Chang, Alvin (February 1, 2018). "The Nunes memo, explained with diagrams". Vox. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Liptak, Kevin; Collins, Kaitlan (February 1, 2018). "Trump sees Nunes memo as a way to discredit the Russia investigation". KITV. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  9. Liptak, Kevin; Collins, Kaitlan; Murray, Sara; Merica, Dan (February 2, 2018). "Trump moves toward releasing memo he hopes will undermine Russia probe". CNN. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  10. Greenwood, Max (February 1, 2018). "Trump telling people Nunes memo will discredit Mueller probe: report". The Hill. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  11. Lucas, Ryan; Neuman, Scott (January 31, 2018). "FBI Warns Of 'Grave Concerns' About 'Accuracy' Of GOP Snooping Memo". NPR. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  12. Leonnig, Carol; Dawsey, Josh (February 1, 2018). "Trump to approve release of GOP memo Friday over objections from law enforcement, intelligence community". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "Russia-linked Twitter accounts are working overtime to help Devin Nunes and WikiLeaks". Business Insider. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Ryan Sit (January 24, 2018). "Russian Bots Might Be Behind Controversial #ReleaseTheMemo Campaign, Democrats Say". Newsweek. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "Right's push to release memo on FBI 'abuses' endorsed by Russian bots". NBC News. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  16. Javers, Eamon; Breuninger, Kevin (January 31, 2018). "FBI says it has 'grave concerns' about accuracy of hotly debated FISA memo". CNBC. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  17. "House Republicans quietly investigate perceived corruption at DOJ, FBI". Politico. December 20, 2017.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Ryan Sit (January 30, 2018). "Nunes "cherry-picked" details for the secret memo without even reading the source material: Top Democrat". Newsweek. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  19. Demirjian, Karoun (April 6, 2017). "House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes recuses himself from Russia probe". Washington Post.
  20. "Report: Ethics investigation into Nunes ended because panel couldn't gain access to classified info". The Week. January 29, 2018.
  21. Natasha Bertrand (October 10, 2017). "Devin Nunes appears to be running a 'parallel' Russia probe without Democrats' consent". Business Insider.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Fandos, Nicholas (February 1, 2018). "House Republicans Vote to Release Secret Memo on Russia Inquiry". New York Times.
  23. Fandos, Nicholas; Goldman, Adam; LaFraniere, Sharon (January 28, 2018). "Secret Memo Hints at a New Republican Target: Rod Rosenstein". The New York Times. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  24. 24.0 24.1 [1]
  25. Savage, Charlie (February 1, 2018). "How to Get a Wiretap to Spy on Americans, and Why That Matters Now". New York Times.
  26. Cohn, Cindy (January 18, 2018). "An Open Letter to Our Community On Congress's Vote to Extend NSA Spying From EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  27. "Statement by the President on FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017". The White House. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  28. "In Name of Transparency, Not Partisan Sniping, Snowden Backs Call to #ReleaseTheMemo". Common Dreams. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  29. "Trending Topics del viernes 19 de enero en Worldwide". www.trendinalia.com. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  30. "Justice Dept warned White House about releasing memo – Washington Post". Reuters. January 30, 2018.
  31. "Conservatives Brought Russia Probe Demand to Shutdown Talks". Bloomberg.com. January 19, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  32. Parker, Ashley; Helderman, Rosalind S.; Dawsey, Josh; Leonnig, Carol D. (January 27, 2018). "Trump sought release of classified Russia memo, putting him at odds with Justice Department". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Demirjian, Karoun; Barrett, Devlin (January 29, 2018). "Republicans vote to release memo alleging FBI missteps while surveilling Trump campaign operative". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  34. Nerb, Jeremy; Raju, Manu (January 30, 2018). "Democrats' rebuttal memo criticizes Nunes as part of response". CNN.
  35. Kyle Cheney (January 29, 2018). "House panel votes to release secret memo". Politico.
  36. Phillips, Ariella (August 3, 2017). "Former Trump adviser Carter Page under FISA warrant since 2014: Report". Washington Examiner. Washington, DC. Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to during President Trump's campaign, has been the subject of a foreign surveillance warrant since 2014... ...Page has long been the subject of federal investigators throughout the Russia investigation amid allegations he either worked as an agent of a foreign government or colluded with one. He runs a New York consulting firm that has done business with Russia.
  37. 37.0 37.1 Nakashima, Ellen; Barrett, Devlin; Entous, Adam (April 11, 2017). "FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page". Washington Post.
  38. Goldman, Adam (April 4, 2017). "Russian Spies Tried to Recruit Carter Page Before He Advised Trump". New York Times.
  39. "Russia-linked Twitter accounts are working overtime to help Devin Nunes and WikiLeaks". Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  40. Dwoskin, Elizabeth; Timberg, Craig (January 31, 2018). "Lawmakers press social media companies — again — on the forces behind the #ReleaseTheMemo campaign". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  41. O'Sullivan, Donie. "Hundreds of newly created Twitter accounts pushed #ReleaseTheMemo". CNNMoney. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  42. Schwartz, Sam. "What Is the Nunes Memo? Controversial Intelligence Document About Trump Campaign Surveillance Spawns #Releasethemem" (January 29, 2018).
  43. 43.0 43.1 "GOP reps demand release of 'shocking' surveillance memo". The Hill. January 19, 2018.
  44. "Republicans call for release of memo on alleged surveillance abuses". CBS News. January 19, 2018.
  45. Demirjian, Karoun (January 24, 2018). "House Democrats plan memo to counter GOP's, as calls to declassify files grow". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  46. Eli Lake (January 25, 2018). "Russian Bots Are Right: #Releasethememo". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  47. 47.0 47.1 Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju. "Senate panel denied access to Nunes FISA memo". CNN. Retrieved January 25, 2018.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  48. Liautaud, Alexa (January 25, 2018). "These two deep-state conspiracy theories are driving Republicans nuts today". Vice News. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  49. Beavers, Olivia (January 26, 2018). "The classified Intel memo: What you need to know". Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  50. Schiff, Adam (January 31, 2018). "BREAKING: Discovered late tonight that Chairman Nunes made material changes to the memo he sent to White House – changes not approved by the Committee. White House therefore reviewing a document the Committee has not approved for release.pic.twitter.com/llhQK9L7l6". @RepAdamSchiff. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  51. Demirjian, Karoun (January 31, 2018). "Schiff accuses Nunes of altering memo before sharing it with Trump for release". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  52. Greenwood, Max (2 January 2018). "Pete King: Nunes changed 'one small part' of memo, did not affect its substance". The Hill. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  53. [2]
  54. Eisen, Norman; Fredickson, Caroline; Bookbinder, Noah (January 31, 2018). "Trump's Saturday Night Massacre Is Happening Right Before Our Eyes". Politico. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  55. Shalev, Chemi (February 2, 2018). "When Trump Fires Mueller, Watergate Could Seem Like Child's Play". Haaretz. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  56. Smith, David (February 2, 2018). "Trump's release of Nunes memo is Nixonian – but today's GOP won't resist". The Guardian. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  57. Clark, Dartunorro (February 2, 2018). "Democrats, some GOP lawmakers criticize release of Nunes memo". NBC News. Retrieved February 2, 2018.

External links[edit]

This article "Nunes memo" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.


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