Intelligence Committe CHARGE AND RESPONSE to Schiff Memo

As probably known by now, Schiff Memo made it to the distribution channels. The political gymnastics continued with the Democrat memo , which has been – as expected- heavily redacted.

The Schiff Memo is quite vague regarding ‘multiple independent sources’ and has the timeline altered to fit their narrative. For example it stated that Steele played no role in FISA warrant and started sharing information with FBI in October.Actually, Steele first contacted FBI in July and August.

The Intelligence Committee issued their response.
According to Chairman Nunes:
“What you’re not going to see is anything that actually rejects what was actually in our memo” he said, adding that  “What you basically will read in the Democratic memo is they are advocating that it is okay for the FBI and DOJ to use for political dirt paid for by one campaign and use it against the other campaign.”

Abstract from the document:

CHARGE: “Christopher Steele’s raw intelligence reporting did not inform the FBI’s decision to initiate its counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016.” (p. 1)
RESPONSE: As stated in the declassified GOP memo on FISA abuse, information about Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos “triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in the late July 2016 by FBI agent Peter Strzok.” Once underway, the investigation was fueled by Christopher Steele’s dossier, which the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) used to get a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on Carter Page. DOJ and FBI’s reliance on the DNC- and Clinton-campaign funded dossier in court filings, not the overall investigation, is the focus of the GOP memo.

CHARGE: The Page FISA application “made only narrow use of information from Steele’s sources about Page’s specific activities in 2016.” (p. 1)
RESPONSE: Senators Grassley and Graham’s January 4, 2018, criminal referral of Steele confirms that “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.” Moreover, the Steele dossier was the FBI’s only source for the allegations in the initial application that Page met with particular Russians in July 2016.

CHARGE: DOJ disclosed to the Court the fact of and reason for Steele’s termination as an FBI source. (p. 2)
RESPONSE: As noted in the GOP memo on FISA abuse, Steele was suspended and then terminated for unauthorized disclosures to the media in October 2016. However, four times DOJ repeated to the FISA Court (FISC) an incorrect assessment that Steele had not been a source for
an earlier, September 2016 Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff. In May 2017, before the final renewal application, Steele admitted in a publicly-available U.K. court filing to personally briefing numerous U.S. media outlets, including Yahoo News, in September 2016. Moreover, Isikoff has publicly confirmed that Steele was a source for the Isikoff article used in the Page FISA application.

CHARGE: DOJ provided additional information obtained through multiple independent sources that corroborated Steele’s reporting. (p. 4)
RESPONSE: At the time of the initial application, all of the Steele dossier’s specific claims about Page—including that he met with Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin in Moscow in July 2016—were uncorroborated by any independent source, and they remain unconfirmed.

CHARGE: DOJ provided the Court with “more than sufficient information to understand the political context of Steele’s research.” (p. 5)
RESPONSE: As clearly stated in the GOP memo, none of the Page FISA applications “disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts.”
Instead, the FISA application relies on a convoluted statement buried in a footnote. This is clearly an attempt to avoid informing the Court, in a straightforward manner that the DNC and Clinton campaign paid for the dossier. (Taking a cue from DOJ and FBI, the Democrat memo omits any reference to the DNC or Clinton campaign.)
Moreover, the footnote obscures, rather than clarifies Steele’s political motivation—and what DOJ and FBI officials actually knew about the dossier’s political origins. The footnote “speculates” on the “likely” motivation of “U.S. Person”—Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson—while intimating that “Source #1”—Steele—was unaware “as to the motivation

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