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What is the Democrats’ rebuttal to Nunes’ memo? 5 things to know about the document



The House Intelligence Committee officially released the Democratic rebuttal to the controversial GOP memo that purported to show improper use of surveillance by the FBI and Justice Department (DOJ) during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The Feb. 24 release came after the White House initially instructed Democratic lawmakers to revise their rebuttal memo regarding the Russia investigation, saying the document required certain redactions before it could be made public.

Earlier this month, Trump made public – without redactions – a memo written by Republicans on the committee that detailed alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and DOJ in its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Trump further stirred controversy when he said the memo “totally vindicates” him of any wrongdoing.

Here’s a look at what the Democrats’ partially blacked out 10-page memo contained.


Unlike the Republican memo, largely authored by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the Democrats’ rebuttal was released with many blacked out portions.

Most of the redactions appear to be related to intelligence regarding Russian activities, including contacts former Trump adviser Carter Page had with Russian-linked individuals. One section with multiple redactions is titled “Page’s connections to Russian Government and Intelligence Officials.”

Page was the subject of a surveillance warrant obtained by the FBI and DOJ as part of their probe, according to the GOP version.

One redaction appears to involve former Trump aide George Papadopoulos. And another appears to block out information related to compensation the FBI considered giving to dossier author and former British spy Christopher Steele.

Even before the memo’s release, Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said he was wary of the redactions Trump would require for “political purposes.”

Contradicting the Nunes memo

The rebuttal released on Feb. 24 claims officials at the FBI and DOJ “did not abuse the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign.”

The GOP memo alleged Steele’s controversial dossier – a 35-page document compiled for the firm Fusion GPS – “formed an essential part” of applications by the FBI and DOJ to spy on Page.

The surveillance warrant and renewals did not mention that the dossier was paid for, at least in part, by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the campaign for Hillary Clinton, according to the GOP memo.


But the Democratic memo contends the DOJ did disclose the “assessed political motivation of those who hired him” and that Steele was likely hired by someone “looking for information that could be used to discredit” Trump’s campaign.

The Democrats say the FBI “made only narrow use of Steele’s sources” in the request for the FISA application.

Republicans have said that is not enough, however, because the Clinton campaign and DNC were not named.

“Dem Memo: FBI did not disclose who the clients were – the Clinton Campaign and the DNC. Wow!” Trump tweeted shortly after the Democratic document was released.

Further politicization of the probe

The Democrats’ memo, seen as a rebuttal to the GOP’s document, was deemed a “politically driven document” by the White House following its release.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the memo “fails to even address the fact that the Deputy FBI Director told the Committee that had it not been for the dossier, no surveillance order would have been sought.”

‘Bolsters’ FBI credibility

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., previously told Fox News the Democrats’ document “bolsters” the FBI’s credibility in the Russia probe. He said the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was given a “voluminous amount” of evidence to obtain the warrant to spy on Page.

The memo contended the FBI had an “independent basis” for investigating Page’s motivations. It also said the DOJ “repeatedly informed the Court about Steele’s background, credibility and potential bias.”

“The FBI had ample reason to believe that Carter Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power based on his history, including the fact that he had previously been a target of Russian recruitment, his travel to Russia, and other information,” Schiff said in a statement. “The renewals of FISA were also appropriate and based on new information obtained by law enforcement.”

Additionally, the Democrats’ memo challenged the Republican claim that the FBI authorized payment to Steele, saying it neglected to include that the payment was cancelled.

However, the new memo said the dossier was corroborated by multiple sources – the opposite of what former FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017. He said then, three months after the warrant had been granted for Page, that the dossier was considered “salacious” and “unverified” when he briefed incoming President Trump in January 2017.

Points of agreement

The two memos weren’t in complete opposition to one another.

Both memos said the Steele dossier was not the catalyst for the FBI opening its counterintelligence investigation into links between the Russia investigation and the Trump campaign. And both memos showed the investigation was prompted by concerns about contacts between Papadopoulos and individuals linked to Russia.

Fox News’ Madeline Farber, Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.

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'This won't end well' Meghan and Harry warned of US backlash as Sussexes go against Queen



PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle cannot hope to win in a popularity contest against the Queen, even among Americans, a former MP who is now based in the US has said.

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Tom Barrack, former Trump inaugural chair, released on $250 million bond



Former Trump inaugural committee chair Tom Barrack on Friday was released from federal lockup in California on a $250 million bond ahead of his scheduled arraignment in New York on charges he acted as an agent of the United Arab Emirates and obstructed justice.

As part of the terms of his release, Barrack, 74, is subject to electronic monitoring and will have to foot the bill for his GPS ankle bracelet, Judge Patricia Donahue ordered, signing off on an agreement that had been worked out between the government and Barrack’s attorneys.

Barrack, a private equity investor and founder of the investment firm Colony Capital, also had to surrender his passports and is barred from transferring funds overseas, the judge said. He cannot trade any securities without written permission from federal prosecutors and is not allowed to transfer more than $50,000 except for attorneys fees.

He’s scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in Brooklyn, New York on Monday. His spokesman said earlier this week that Barrack “is not guilty and will be pleading not guilty.”

A longtime friend of former President Donald Trump, Barrack had been behind bars since his arrest Tuesday on charges that he and two co-defendants were “acting and conspiring to act as agents” of the UAE between April 2016 and April 2018, but without registering as foreign agents.

Prosecutors said Barrack and the others acted “to advance the interests of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the United States at the direction of senior UAE officials by influencing the foreign policy positions of the campaign of a candidate in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and, subsequently, the foreign policy positions of the U.S. government in the incoming administration.”

Barrack was also charged with obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements to federal law enforcement agents.

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BBC sparks fury: Over-75s left 'stressed' over licence fee crackdown as Covid cases soar



OVER-75s are terrified the BBC will send round TV licence fee enforcement officers to their homes while Covid cases continue to surge.

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