Congress Releases Report at Center of Government Spying Scandal

Following White House removal of classified status from House Intelligence Committee memo, committee releases it
February 2, 2018 Updated: February 2, 2018    

A bombshell House Intelligence Committee memo released on Feb. 2 shows that top officials in the Obama administration abused surveillance powers to spy on the Trump team.

The report shows how the top leadership in the FBI and the DOJ applied for a warrant to spy on a Trump associate by using a dossier they knew was compiled by a biased source and contained unverified claims.

According to initial excerpts from the document obtained by the Washington Examiner, the unverified anti-Trump dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton was the essential part of the initial application to surveil Carter Page. The dossier was used again for the three renewal applications.

The report reveals that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe confirmed that FBI would not seek a surveillance warrant without the information in the opposition dossier. Worse yet, the report found that senior FBI and DOJ officials knew of the dossier’s political origins, but did not include the information on warrant applications to the FISA court.

Finally, the House Intelligence report shows that Bruce Ohr met with the dossier’s author, former British spy Christopher Steele, in the summer of 2016 and relayed to the DOJ leadership that Steele was biased against Trump. Steele told Ohr that he was passionate about Trump not being elected president.

Reacting to the contents of the memo, President Donald Trump told reporters in the oval office on Friday that: “ I think it’s terrible, it’s a disgrace, what’s going on in this country, it’s a disgrace.”

“A lot of people should be ashamed,” he said.

McCabe resigned on Monday hours before the intelligence committee voted to make the memo public. Trump had five days to make the declassification official and signed the order shortly before noon today.

The FBI and DOJ stonewalled the House Intelligence Committee for months and only gave up the information once threatened with contempt charges. Once the memo was compiled, the Justice Department worked with Democrats and prominent liberal media figures to mount fierce opposition to the document’s public release.

The memo is only part of what the committee discovered during its investigation. According to the Washington Examiner, the fight may repeat soon as the committee members press to release more details.