SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch View Alerts

Trump believes memo could undercut Russia probe

Trump is calling associates to say a highly controversial Republican memo would expose FBI bias and could help discredit the Russia investigation.

Posted: Feb 4, 2018 11:01 AM
Updated: Feb 4, 2018 11:04 AM

Beyond the controversy over the timing, wisdom and true purpose of its Friday release, the Republican memo alleging anti-Trump corruption at the FBI and Justice Department contains one remarkable detail that undermines its core assertion.

In the first two sentences of the document's final paragraph, its authors note that the application to monitor former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page included a reference to another former campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos.

It goes on to confirm, in the next sentence, earlier reports that the same "information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok."

That the Papadopoulos "information" also played some role in helping to secure the FBI's desired warrant throws into doubt claims by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and other Republicans that law enforcement officials leaned too heavily on the contents of a dossier funded, indirectly, by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

The timeline here is key.

The FISA application, under protracted scrutiny in the memo, was granted in October 2016. But, as confirmed here by Nunes himself, a potentially related investigation had begun months earlier, in July. And while the memo states that "there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos," it does not articulate the degree to which evidence gleaned from the Papadopoulos probe weighed on the court's decision to grant the Page warrant. Nor does it address whether that intelligence might have corroborated details from the dossier, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.

On Thursday afternoon, Republican Matt Gaetz, a vocally pro-Trump Florida congressman who hasn't seen the underlying FISA application and related materials, speculated in an interview with CNN that the "entire universe of Papadopoulos claims" might well have been enough to win over a FISA court judge -- at first.

"It may have been sufficient to start it," he said. "But it certainly would not have been a basis for the intelligence gathering and the continuation of that investigation."

Maybe so, but even then it remains unclear -- going by the memo's contents -- what precisely investigators presented to the court as they successfully sought three renewals of the initial warrant at hearings after the November 2016 election.

The sum result is a document that falls self-evidently short of proving its heavy and heavily-touted thesis. If Nunes and his allies have been successful at anything here, it is in further muddying the public's view of the ongoing special counsel investigation, and, perhaps in the eyes of the White House, carving out a little more space for a move to end it.

Terre Haute
Scattered Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 70°
Robinson
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 68°
Rockville
Scattered Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 66°
Casey
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 68°
Brazil
Scattered Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Marshall
Scattered Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Possible strong storms tonight
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 195380

Reported Deaths: 7845
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1114474928
Lake12670446
DuPage12233520
Kane9759305
Will9236344
St. Clair4006161
Winnebago3779131
McHenry3189114
Madison259176
Kankakee178268
Rock Island174536
Champaign166919
Peoria160735
Kendall137723
Unassigned1368209
Sangamon124733
DeKalb93630
LaSalle76624
Boone76523
Jackson71719
McLean65115
Macon62423
Adams5195
Tazewell5188
Coles47220
Randolph4647
Ogle4105
Clinton40717
Williamson3996
Whiteside35517
Stephenson3276
Grundy3235
Union32123
Monroe31813
Knox2991
Jefferson28619
Iroquois26311
Morgan2496
Henry2341
Vermilion2342
Cass23111
Bureau2053
Warren1900
Perry1841
Macoupin1793
Franklin1780
Lee1711
Montgomery1707
Marion1560
Effingham1551
Woodford1513
McDonough14315
Christian1424
Saline1322
Jo Daviess1251
Douglas1162
Livingston1152
Logan1120
Jersey1052
Pulaski931
Clark822
Shelby791
Mercer754
Moultrie730
White680
Johnson670
Fayette663
Washington660
Piatt610
Wayne611
Bond603
Jasper597
Carroll564
Menard560
Cumberland552
Hancock531
Gallatin512
Ford492
Lawrence470
Mason470
Greene430
Massac390
Alexander370
Wabash350
De Witt330
Fulton330
Crawford290
Hamilton290
Edgar280
Marshall260
Clay230
Pike210
Scott210
Richland190
Edwards180
Hardin180
Schuyler180
Brown140
Putnam130
Henderson120
Calhoun90
Pope90
Stark70
Out of IL00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 74328

Reported Deaths: 3041
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15860725
Lake7570275
Elkhart484384
Allen3902163
St. Joseph350081
Hamilton2763104
Vanderburgh196313
Hendricks1887108
Cass17959
Johnson1757118
Porter131639
Clark123347
Tippecanoe121111
Madison97965
LaPorte91130
Howard89065
Kosciusko85212
Bartholomew79347
Marshall78422
Floyd77946
Monroe75630
Delaware73052
Dubois69612
Boone67846
Noble67829
Hancock66038
Vigo65110
Jackson5865
Warrick58130
LaGrange55910
Shelby55327
Grant52630
Dearborn50828
Morgan47634
Clinton4343
Henry38320
Wayne37710
White36910
Montgomery35421
Lawrence34627
Harrison33823
Decatur33732
Putnam2888
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25034
Jasper2432
Franklin24214
DeKalb2324
Gibson2254
Jennings22512
Steuben2103
Ripley2087
Carroll1912
Fayette1897
Perry18612
Starke1787
Orange17124
Posey1710
Wabash1693
Fulton1682
Wells1682
Jefferson1632
Knox1540
Whitley1526
Washington1401
Tipton13810
Spencer1363
Sullivan1261
Huntington1223
Randolph1224
Clay1215
Newton11810
Adams1012
Jay910
Owen901
Pulaski831
Rush804
Fountain742
Brown731
Ohio655
Blackford642
Benton610
Pike530
Switzerland520
Vermillion520
Parke511
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren221
Unassigned0206