President Trump declassified the highly anticipated memo from House Intelligence Committee Republicans on Friday, and the four-page summary of federal FISA abuses convinces former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli that the government manipulated the system for partisan purposes and that the entire FISA system must be reformed.
The memo casts a critical eye on actions taken by FBI and Justice Department officials since October 2016, the first time they obtained a foreign intelligence surveillance, or FISA, warrant to keep tabs on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page over concerns about his ties to Russia.
The committee Republicans contend the warrant to conduct surveillance on Page was based on a dossier compiled by avowed Trump critic Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent. Furthermore, the memo says recently ousted Deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe testified just weeks ago that the warrant would never have been issued without the dossier.
The head of the FBI’s counterintelligence unit, Bill Priestap, testified that the bureau had not even vetted the dossier before using it to obtain the warrant, telling lawmakers their corroboration efforts were in their infancy at the time the initial warrant was granted.
That information was not presented to the court, neither was the information that the dossier had been funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.