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Trump on Releasing the FISA Memo: 'Don't Worry

31 January 2018

The House Intelligence Committee, by party-line vote, voted Monday evening to release a potentially explosive memorandum its staff compiled that could blow the lid off the long investigation into alleged collusion - so far unproven - between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. Democrats, however, allege that the GOP memo is nothing but a hit job created to weaken the federal law enforcement agencies behind special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including Trump's alleged ties to Russian officials. Asked Tuesday about the department's position on the memo's release, Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores declined comment.

The committee voted to release the four-page memo on Monday. The memo suggests that Steele, the author of a now-famous dossier alleging Trump has ties to Russian officials, provided bad information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation - although people familiar with it say the memo does not conclude whether Steele intentionally passed along suspect information or simply made a mistake.

Democrats have criticized the memo as partisan talking points meant to cast doubt on the investigation.

Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, spoke about the memo earlier this morning.

White House chief of staff John Kelly said the controversial, classified memo created by Republican staffers on the House Intelligence Committee led by chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., will be released "pretty quick". Hopefully, in the interest of transparency, he will do the right thing and approve its release to the public for the American people to see for themselves the extent to which corruption underlies the highly questionable Russian collusion investigation. Andrew McCabe's decision to resign rather than be demoted, as Mr. Wray had suggested, came one day after Mr. Wray visited the Capitol and reviewed the House Intelligence Committee memo.

FBI Director Christopher Wray has told the White House the memo contains inaccurate information and offers a false picture, according to Bloomberg News.

Republicans said they are confident the release won't harm national security.

The panel's Democrats have written their own assessment of the intelligence underlying the memo.

Trump has not yet seen the memo, according to a White House spokesman. Conaway said he was open to making it public after House members have a chance to review it.

The memo - which has been much-touted on conservative media under the #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag - has passed from a House committee to the White House for review, which is required because the document is based on classified information. A new date hasn't been set, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. But one of the people familiar with the decision to delay it said it was premature to schedule it this week because discussions have only just started with the White House over what Bannon can tell the committee.

Republicans have always been suspicious of the dossier, particularly since learning that Steele's work was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Trump on Releasing the FISA Memo: 'Don't Worry