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What is the Devin Nunes memo about and how does it affect Trump?

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What is the Devin Nunes memo about and how does it affect Trump?

By Alan Yuhas

The four-page document released on Friday is at the heart of a firestorm over Donald Trump, Russia and special counsel Robert Mueller. What’s in it?

The memo was written by aides to Republican Devin Nunes, chairman of the House intelligence committee, a staunch defender of Donald Trump and a member of his transition team.

Nunes memo release is Trump’s attempt to quell threats to him and his circle

The committee is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, but its inquiry has devolved into a partisan fight about the FBI and justice department, and how they have investigated the meddling. The investigation is now led by a special counsel, Robert Mueller.

On Friday, Nunes published the memo minutes after Donald Trump declassified it.

The four-page memo revolves around a wiretap on Carter Page, who was briefly an adviser to the Trump campaign and a figure on the FBI’s radar since at least 2013. The documents alleges that the FBI omitted key information when it applied to a court for the wiretap in question.

According to its authors, the memo’s findings “raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain [Department of Justice] and FBI interactions” with the court that approves surveillance requests. It also claims they “represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses”.

The memo criticizes investigators who applied for the wiretap, saying they used material provided by a former British agent, Christopher Steele, without sufficiently disclosing their source to the judge. Steele was employed by a freelance research firm, which in turn had been hired by Democrats during the general election campaigns.

The memo criticizes these omissions and says Steele himself was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president”. The memo also claims the FBI “terminated” Steele as a source because he spoke with the press.

The memo imputes “a clear bias against Trump” to an FBI agent and an FBI attorney, on the basis that they shared texts critical of the businessman. (The agent was removed from the investigation last December and the attorney has left the bureau.)

The memo itself notes that the investigation began before the wiretap application on Page. It alludes without detail to how another Trump aide, George Papadopoulos, made suspicious remarks to an Australian official, who tipped off American counterparts.


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