Opinion Marc Thiessen: Grassley-Graham memo deserves attention from everyone -- and answers from DOJ

20:46  14 february  2018
20:46  14 february  2018 Source:   foxnews.com

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The Grassley - Graham memo has been all but ignored since its release, but it deserves attention from everyone -- and answers from the Justice Department . If you're concerned about Russia meddling in our election, as every American should be

The Grassley - Graham memo has been all but ignored since its release, but it deserves attention from everyone — and answers from the Justice Department . If you’re concerned about Russia meddling in our election, as every American should be

Chuck Grassley, Lindsey Graham are posing for a picture © Provided by Fox News

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

After House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., sent his memo laying out potential abuses of the FISA process by the FBI to the White House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., demanded that he be removed as chairman. Nunes was "deliberately dishonest" in pushing to release a "bogus memo," Pelosi declared, and had "disgraced the House Intelligence Committee" with his "partisan effort to distort intelligence."

A new Senate document on Russia probe spying explained

  A new Senate document on Russia probe spying explained Two influential Republican senators have injected new information into the partisan dispute over the government's secret surveillance of a former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, revealing more details about how the FBI and Justice Department used research compiled by a former British spy whose work was funded by Democrats. Load Error Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina late Tuesday released a criminal referral they had sent to the Justice Department earlier this year asking for an investigation into the former spy, Christopher Steele.

Trending in Opinion. Marc Thiessen : Grassley - Graham memo deserves attention from everyone -- and answers from DOJ . This Ash Wednesday, stand up for Christians worldwide.

The Nunes memo was cagey about how heavily the dossier factored into the FISA application. Grassley / Graham is less cagey. Answer : Heavily.

But Democrats can't so easily dismiss the far more detailed declassified criminal referral written by two respected Republican senators – Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, and Lindsey O. Graham, R-S.C. – which confirms the claims raised in the Nunes memo. The Grassley-Graham memo has been all but ignored since its release, but it deserves attention from everyone – and answers from the Justice Department.

If you're concerned about Russia meddling in our election, as every American should be, then you should be deeply concerned about unverified allegations by Russian government officials, passed on to the FBI by a paid partisan of one candidate, leading to a warrant to spy on an American citizen associated with the other campaign.

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Nancy Reagan deserves better. Grassley - Graham Memo Informs Our Understanding of Nunes Memo . Attached to that referral letter was an eight-page classified memorandum (“ Grassley / Graham memo ”) setting forth the basis for the referral.

Tags ››› Marc Thiessen . Fox is spinning a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers as a "major concession." On the night of the election, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd said that he’d been told that “if Doug Jones loses, it will be a one word answer : Abortion.”

According to Grassley and Graham, that is precisely what happened. The FBI "relied heavily" on the Steele dossier to obtain warrants for surveillance of Carter Page, a marginal former Trump campaign adviser, the senators write. Moreover, they say, the FBI did not have "meaningful corroboration" of Steele's claims when it submitted its application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court. "The bulk of the application consists of allegations against Page that were disclosed to the FBI by Mr. Steele and are also outlined in the Steele dossier. The application appears to contain no additional information corroborating the dossier allegations against Mr. Page" except for "a news article that appears to be sourced to Mr. Steele's dossier as well."

In other words, Steele's work was virtually the sole source of information the FBI relied upon to obtain a warrant to spy on a U.S. citizen. Without it, there would likely have been no surveillance approved.

Schiff: Dems will review suggested memo redactions from DOJ, FBI

  Schiff: Dems will review suggested memo redactions from DOJ, FBI Schiff: Dems will review suggested memo redactions from DOJ, FBIThe Democratic memo is intended to rebut a GOP document released last week alleging that the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) misused their authority to obtain a surveillance order on a former Trump campaign adviser.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley Charles (Chuck) Ernest Grassley Several lawmakers have seen intelligence behind Nunes memo Senate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA Senate confirms Trump nominee despite missing 'blue slip' MORE (R-Iowa)

Senators Grassley ’s and Lindsey Graham ’s letter to the Justice Department , addressed to Deputy Attorney General Rod Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter. If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Davis or DeLisa Lay of Chairman Grassley ’s staff at (202) 224-5225.

The senators further confirm that the FBI did not, in fact, tell the court the full provenance of the dossier, writing, "The application failed to disclose that the identities of Mr. Simpson's ultimate clients were the Clinton campaign and the DNC." (Glenn Simpson is co-founder of the firm that hired Steele.) They also failed to tell the court that an FBI official, Bruce Ohr (whose wife worked for Fusion GPS on the Russia project), had warned the bureau that "Steele was 'desperate' to see that Mr. Trump was not elected" even though this information was relevant "to his credibility and his stated political motive." Grassley and Graham conclude that "it appears the FBI relied on admittedly uncorroborated information, funded by and obtained for Secretary Clinton's presidential campaign, in order to conduct surveillance of an associate of the opposing presidential candidate."

The senators note the FBI used the dossier because Steele was "considered reliable due to his past work with the Bureau." But in October 2016, the FBI suspended its relationship with Steele after it learned he had disclosed dossier information to the press and then lied to the FBI about it. Yet despite Steele's deception, which calls into question his credibility, the FBI continued to rely on the dossier for renewals of the FISA warrant. Worse, the senators write, "the FBI did not subsequently disclose to the [court] this evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele had lied to the FBI."

None of these ugly details exonerate Trump or undercut the Mueller investigation. Nor was that the purpose. Both Graham and Grassley have always supported special counsel Robert S. Mueller III – Graham by introducing a bill that would require the attorney general to petition a panel of federal judges for permission to remove a special counsel, and Grassley by holding a hearing on the bill.

But if the FBI, wittingly or unwittingly, made representations before the court that were in error, then the American people have a right to know. And if a paid advocate of one presidential candidate persuaded the FBI to conduct surveillance on a member of the other candidate's campaign team, Congress has an obligation to investigate.

As for Democrats, are Grassley and Graham's claims "bogus" and "dishonest"? Have they "disgraced" their committee with a "partisan effort to distort intelligence"? I think not. They have raised serious questions that should trouble all Americans, no matter their political party.

Schiff: We're not going to revise Democratic memo .
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday night that members of his party won't revise their countermemo, despite requests from the White House to do so. "We're not going to make any revisions to it. The only question is what redactions will be made. And obviously we'd like to keep those to a minimum," Schiff told reporters."The White House has a different interest. I think the ir interest is in redacting anything that doesn't reflect well on the White House," Schiff added.

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