The House Intelligence Committee Monday voted along party lines to release a secret memo that is said to show that the FBI abused its power in ordering the surveillance of at least one former Trump campaign associate, Carter Page.
President Trump now has to decide if the memo should be released. The White House has suggested that Trump wants to let the public see the memo, but his own Justice Department has argued against it.
According to the New York Times:
The memo, which was made available to all members of the House, is said to contend that officials from the two agencies were not forthcoming to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge. Republicans accuse the agencies of failing to disclose that the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign helped finance research that was used to obtain a warrant for surveillance of Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser. The research presented to the judge was assembled by a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele.
The memo is not limited to actions taken by the Obama administration, though. The New York Times reported on Sunday that the memo reveals that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, a top Trump appointee, signed off an application to extend the surveillance of Mr. Page shortly after taking office last spring. The renewal shows that the Justice Department under Mr. Trump saw reason to believe that Mr. Page was acting as a Russian agent.
The inclusion of Mr. Rosenstein’s action in the memo could expose him to a torrent of criticism from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from conservatives in the media who have seized on the surveillance to argue that the Russia investigation may have been tainted from the start. Mr. Rosenstein is overseeing that investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself. It was Mr. Rosenstein who appointed Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel.