THE DEMOCRATS’ MEMO: CHARGE AND RESPONSECHARGE: “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.