breaking news

Authorities investigate shooting near South Florida Fairgrounds

Controversial GOP memo released: 6 things to know

The House Intelligence Committee on Friday released a controversial GOP intelligence memo alleging missteps by the FBI and the Justice Department in the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to President Donald Trump’s campaign officials.

>> Read more trending news

The release came four days after the committee voted to release the memo. Trump approved of its release without redactions Friday.

>> Related: Nunes memo: Controversial GOP memo alleging missteps in Russia probe released

Here are six things to know about the memo:

1. What exactly is the memo?

The memo was written Jan. 18 by staff of the House Intelligence Committee, chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California. It was written as part of the committee’s investigation into the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by FBI and Justice Department officials investigating Russian election meddling.

>> Related: Read the GOP memo accusing the FBI of misconduct

2. What is it about?

Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page and the infamous -- and mostly unverified -- dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, for the most part.

>> Related: Who is Carter Page; how is he connected to the Nunes memo?

In the memo, officials claimed that investigators failed to provide “an accounting of relevant facts” when they sought and received a FISA order authorizing electronic surveillance of Page in October 2016. Officials renewed the warrant three times, each renewal covering 90 days.

3. Steele dossier ‘formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application

Officials said the dossier, compiled by Steele and funded in part by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, “formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application.” None of the applications submitted to get the FISA warrant on Page mentioned the fact that the dossier was funded by Democrats, according to the memo.

>> Related: Democrats helped fund Trump-Russia dossier: 6 things to know

Officials also questioned the veracity of the dossier and the reliability of Steele as a source for the FBI, noting that he spoke with members of the media multiple times -- a violation of “the most cardinal rule of source handling -- maintaining confidentiality” -- and made comments disparaging of Trump.

4. Information on George Papadopoulos led to FBI investigation 

Also mentioned in the FISA application was former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty in October to lying to federal authorities investigating alleged Russian meddling and its possible ties to the Trump campaign.

>> Related: Mueller investigation: Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleads guilty

Information about Papadopoulos is what “triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok,” officials said in the memo. Strzok was removed from the investigation after anti-Trump text messages between himself and FBI attorney Lisa Page surfaced. Critics have said that the messages showed a clear bias in the investigation.

>> Related: Some missing text messages between FBI employees recovered, DOJ says

5. What was Page’s role in the Trump presidential campaign?

Page wasn’t a part of the Trump presidential campaign on Oct. 21, 2016, when authorities got the warrant to surveil him.

Then-candidate Trump announced that Page would serve as part of his team in March 2016, according to PBS Newshour. Five months later, in August, Trump named him an informal adviser to the campaign as questions surfaced about a trip Page took to Moscow in July 2016. By September, Page was no longer part of the Trump campaign.

6. Who decided to release the memo?

In a letter released by officials Friday, White House counsel Donald McGahn said the memo was released after a review by lawyers and national security staff, including officials with the Office of the Director of National Security and the Justice Department.

>> Related: What is a FISA warrant?

“To be clear, the memorandum reflects the judgments of its congressional authors,” McGahn wrote. “The president understands that oversight concerning matters related to the memorandum may be continuing.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Nation & World

Maryland police officer killed; 4 teens arrested, authorities say
Maryland police officer killed; 4 teens arrested, authorities say

Four teenagers were in custody Tuesday after a Maryland police officer was killed during a traffic stop in Baltimore County one day earlier, authorities said. Update 11:12 a.m. EDT Tuesday: Baltimore County police confirmed Tuesday that the officer killed Monday was Officer Amy Caprio. She had worked for the department for nearly four years...
Marc Summers returning to ‘Double Dare’ reboot in new role, Liza Koshy to host
Marc Summers returning to ‘Double Dare’ reboot in new role, Liza Koshy to host

The new host of Nickelodeon’s reboot of “Double Dare” was announced by the network Tuesday, and it’s not Marc Summers -- although he will be on the show in a new role. YouTuber and actress Liza Koshy will host the new version of the classic late ‘80s, early ‘90s children’s game show. According...
What is laze? Hawaii volcano lava reaches Pacific Ocean
What is laze? Hawaii volcano lava reaches Pacific Ocean

Lava from the Kilauea volcano has reached the Pacific Ocean off of Hawaii’s Big Island, creating a massive plume of “laze” - a toxic mixture of lava and haze. Laze is formed when lava enters the ocean and sets off a series of chemical reactions. The seawater cools the lava and transforms it into glass, which shatters, according to...
Hawaii volcano: 'Explosive eruption' at Kilauea summit spurs concerns over ash, laze
Hawaii volcano: 'Explosive eruption' at Kilauea summit spurs concerns over ash, laze

An “explosive eruption” at Kilauea's summit on Hawaii's Big Island early Tuesday prompted officials to warn residents to protect themselves from ash fallout as the volcano eruption continues into its third week. More than 40 structures have been destroyed in the eruption that started May 3. It has since inundated almost 325 acres around...
Man beat dog with baseball bat after it ate his Whopper, police say
Man beat dog with baseball bat after it ate his Whopper, police say

A Dartmouth man is accused of beating his dog with a baseball bat because it ate his Whopper. Gregory Ostiguy hid behind a barrier in court Monday as he was arraigned on animal cruelty charges. Police said the attack occurred Friday. >> Read more trending news  The dog was treated by a veterinarian and is expected to survive. Ostiguy was...
More Stories