President Donald Trump is expected to allow release of a secret GOP memo that reportedly alleges surveillance abuses by the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department, according to reports.
The Post said the White House agreed to some redactions at the FBI’s request, while the Times said Trump was not likely to request any redactions. An unnamed official told reporters on Air Force One that there would probably be no redactions, report NPR, NBC and CBS.
The memo reportedly says the Justice Department relied on information from former British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the unverified dossier alleging Russian connections, when it initially asked the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to approve surveillance of former campaign adviser Carter Page. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein approved extension of the surveillance last spring.
Perkins Coie has said it hired Fusion GPS, which hired Steele, to assist the law firm in its representation of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Some view the Democratic connection as evidence the Russia probe was marred by its reliance on partisan information.
Trump reportedly reached his decision despite the FBI’s release of a statement on Wednesday expressing “grave concerns about material omissions of fact” in the memo.
The House Intelligence Committee voted to release the memo on Monday, which gave Trump five days to decide whether to block its release. The top committee Democrat, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, has since accused Republican committee chair U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes of making “material changes” to the memo after the committee voted to release it. Schiff and Nunes represent California.
An unnamed committee official told the Post that there had been five material changes to the memo, “including a modification that appears intended to water down the overall importance of the majority’s purported ‘findings.’ ”