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Controversial GOP Memo On FBI Tactics Released

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WASHINGTON -

The controversial four-page memo created by Republican staffers on the House Intelligence Committee alleging abuse of surveillance authority by the Justice Department and FBI has been released Friday after being declassified by the president. The memo is unredacted.

The memo is available here, and here:

What does the memo say?

The gist of it: CBS News' Jeff Pegues reports that the memo will focuses in part on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant which authorized the surveillance of former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. Federal law enforcement sources as well as congressional sources briefed on the intelligence during the 2016 campaign say that well before Page joined the Trump campaign, there were concerns about his contacts with Russian spies. 

The details: The memo claims that on Oct. 21, 2016 the DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order authorizing electronic surveillance on Page. The FBI and DOJ obtained three FISA warrants targeting Page and three FISA renewals, according to the memo. Then-FBI Director James COmey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one, according to the memo. The memo says then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, then-Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of the DOJ.

That's where the "dossier" — information compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele on behalf of Democrats — comes in. The memo says neither the initial application for the warrant in October 2016 or any of the renewals reference the roles of the Democratic National Committee or Hillary Clinton's campaign in funding of Steele's efforts — even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials."

"The initial FISA application notes Steele was working for a named U.S. person, but does not name Fusion GPS and principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a U.S. law firm (Perkins Coie) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actors were involved with the Steele dossier.) The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of — and paid by — the DNC and the Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information." the memo claims.

What are the objections to its release?

The release would come against strong objections from the intelligence community. On Wednesday, the FBI issued a rare statement warning against the memo's release, saying incompletely information in the memo raised "grave concerns." FBI Director Christopher Wray also objected to the memo's release, and, along with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, asked White House chief of staff John Kelly not to allow its release. 

Democrats have expressed concern that Republicans are using the memo to undermine the credibility of the FBI and DOJ as Mueller investigates Russian election meddling and any ties to Russia.

The House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines Monday night to release the memo, allowing the White House five days to object to its release. But Kelly had indicated Wednesday morning in an interview with Fox News Radio that the memo would be released, and President Trump, after his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, said he agreed "100 percent" that the memo should be released. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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