Donald Trump Vindicated by Memo: Calls Russia Investigation an ‘American Disgrace’
President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Saturday that he felt vindicated by the memo declassified by the House Intelligence Committee.
“This memo totally vindicates ‘Trump’ in probe,” the president wrote on Twitter. “But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on.”
Trump sent his message to Twitter five minutes before he arrived by motorcade to his golf club in Palm Beach, Florida.
He again denied any collusion with Russia during the election as well as trying to obstruct justice. Reports about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation have focused on possible obstruction of justice in response to reports about a campaign meeting with a Russian source who purported to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
“Their (sic) was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead),” Trump continued on Twitter. “This is an American disgrace!”
A four-page House Intelligence Committee memo alleging abuse of surveillance authority raises immediate questions about former FBI Director James Comey’s role in utilizing the infamous, largely discredited 35-page anti-Trump dossier to obtain a FISA court warrant to monitor an individual associated with Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
One glaring possible inconsistency centers on Comey’s June 8, 2017 prepared remarks for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where he referred to the anti-Trump dossier as containing “salacious and unverified” material.
Yet, according to the memo crafted by House Republicans, Comey personally signed three FISA court applications utilizing that same dossier that he labeled “salacious and unverified” eight months later to obtain FISA court warrants to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, who briefly served as a volunteer foreign policy adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign.
The memo documents that on October 21, 2016, the FBI and Justice Department sought and received the FISA order against Page, and that the agencies sought the renewal of the order every 90 days in accordance with court requirements. Renewals require separate finding of probable cause each time, the memo relates.
According to the memo, Comey “signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one.” Sally Yates, then-Acting Deputy Attorney Gernal Dana Boente, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein signed one or more of the applications on behalf of the Justice Department.
The memo relates the FBI utilized the anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele as evidence against Page in order to obtain the FISA warrant.
However, according to the memo, the FBI and DOJ failed to inform the FISA court of the following:
That Steele’s Dossier was reportedly funded by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) via the Perkins Coie law firm. “Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior and FBI officials,” the memo states.
That the initial application notes Steele worked for a “named U.S. person” but does not name the controversial firm Fusion GPS or its founder Glenn Simpson.
That Steele reportedly met with Yahoo News at the direction of Fusion GPS. A Yahoo News article about an alleged trip by Page to Moscow was cited in the FISA warrant, according to the memo.
After he allegedly signed three FISA applications based on Steele’s dossier, Comey publically referred to Steele’s work as “salacious and unverified.”
In Comey’s June 8, 2017 prepared remarks for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the former FBI chief says that following a January 6 Oval Office meeting with Intelligence Community leaders, Comey “remained alone with the President Elect to brief him on some personally sensitive aspects of the information assembled during the assessment.”’
It is clear Comey was referring to the dossier since he writes the “salacious and unverified” material was about to be publically reported by the news media.