3 Feb 2018

Memo accuses FBI of abusing power

8:57 am on 3 February 2018

A controversial Republican memo charging bias in the FBI has finally been released after Donald Trump overruled top career law enforcement officials to order its release.

US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House.

US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House. Photo: AFP

The memo is about the FBI's conduct of its inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in US elections.

Mr Trump said he had handed it to Congress, which expected to release it.

Asked about the contents of the memo, Mr Trump told reporters it was a disgrace and a lot of people should be "ashamed of themselves".

Earlier on Friday (Saturday NZDT) the president accused top officials of politicising FBI and justice department investigations to damage his Republican party.

Controversy over the memo, which was written by Republican congressional staffers, has raged for days.

Democrats say it is aimed at derailing investigations into Mr Trump, while the FBI has publicly complained of "material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy".

What's in the secret memo?

Approved by the House Intelligence Committee on Monday and by Mr Trump on Friday, the document reportedly accuses the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and justice department of misleading a judge in March of last year while seeking to extend a surveillance warrant against a former Trump advisor, Carter Page.

The memo is said to argue the FBI and justice department did not tell the judge that some of their justification for the warrant relied on a much-disputed Trump dossier.

Compiled by a former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele, that dossier was financed in part through the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to dig up dirt on Mr Trump.

Unnamed sources told Reuters news agency the Republican memo was misleading because all the dossier excerpts used in the FBI warrant application were independently confirmed by US intelligence.


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