House intelligence panel to take up Democratic memo Monday

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes  stands with Rep. Peter King, and Rep. Don De Santis as he announces that his committee and the House oversight committee are starting the investigation into Russia and Obama Admi

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes stands with Rep. Peter King, and Rep. Don De Santis as he announces that his committee and the House oversight committee are starting the investigation into Russia and Obama Admi

Senior Democrats have warned President Donald Trump not to use a controversial memo as a "pretext" to fire the special counsel investigating alleged Russian involvement in the U.S. election.

Democrats and some Republicans say the memo - drafted by Devin Nunes, a Trump transition official, congressman and House Intelligence Committee chairman - is a thinly veiled effort to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged ties with Russian Federation, and possible obstruction of justice.

And former FBI Director James Comey, who was sacked by President Trump in May, tweeted that the memo was "dishonest and misleading".

Though the document had been classified since it deals with warrants obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the White House declassified it Friday and sent it to the intelligence committee chairman, Republican Rep Devin Nunes, for immediate release.

Specifically, the memo says that officials didn't disclose that the Trump opposition research dossier put together by Christopher Steele was funded at one point by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Wray's message came as Trump and his Republican allies in Congress and the media mount an increasingly intense campaign that critics say is aimed at discrediting the Russian Federation investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller, and the agencies in charge of overseeing the investigation.

"I think it's a disgrace what's happening in our country", Mr Trump told reporters when asked about the memo, adding that "a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves".

The memo was meant to "sow conspiracy theories and attack the integrity of federal law enforcement as a means to protect President Trump", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday.

Democrats on the House intelligence committee who unsuccessfully tried to block the memo's release blasted the document for "serious mischaracterizations".

He also called the investigation "an American disgrace".

The underlying materials that served as the basis for the warrant application were not made public in the memo.

The four-page memo alleging abuses of government surveillance powers was written by Republican staff of the House Intelligence Committee.

The FBI retained Mr. Steele as a source, and in October 2016 he talked to Mother Jones magazine without authorization about the FBI investigation and his dossier alleging collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Trump had advocated the memo's release, telling advisers it could help him, in part by undercutting Mueller's investigation and opening the door to firings. Since then, Nunes and other Republicans have led a push to release the memo to the public.

The FBI objected, however, saying it had "grave concerns" that the document gave an inaccurate account of the application to carry out surveillance on Page. "The American people deserve to know all of the facts surrounding Russia's ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel Mueller's investigation must proceed unimpeded". He added that Democrats would seek a vote to release their own memo, which he claimed pointed out several other factual errors in Mr Nunes's.

Former FBI director James Comey was less than thrilled by the memo. "I stand with you", he said.

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