Tarlov: Democrats' FISA Memo 'Everything They Promised It Would Be'
Democratic strategist Jessica Tarlov reacted to the release of the House Intelligence Committee's Democratic memo, which was released Saturday in response to an earlier memo from Republicans about alleged government surveillance abuses during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The [Democrats'] rebuttal claims that officials at the FBI and Justice Department “did not abuse the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign.”
The Democratic memo was voted out of committee earlier this month but was ordered to be redrafted after the White House demanded that sensitive information be stripped out before the document be made public after the Justice Department and FBI claimed the initial draft would reveal information about sources and methods, ongoing investigations, and other sensitive information.
Democrats used the memo to undermine claims in the GOP memo released this month that the FBI and DOJ relied on a Democrat-funded anti-Trump dossier to ask the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page.
That Republican memo also claimed that agencies left out the Democratic National Committee’s funding of the dossier, and the anti-Trump motivations of author Christopher Steele in its request for a warrant.
Republicans have pointed to the revelations as proof that intelligence agencies had abused surveillance powers.
But the Democratic rebuttal backed the FBI and DOJ in its seeking of the FISA warrant.
“In fact, DOJ and the FBI would have been remiss in their duty to protect the country had they not sought a FISA warrant and repeated renewals to conduct temporary surveillance of Carter Page, someone the FBI assessed to be an agent of the Russian government,” the rebuttal said, adding that the DOJ met the “rigor, transparency, and evidentiary basis” needed to meet FISA’s probable cause requirement.
"This is everything that the Democrats promised it would be," Tarlov said. "They knew what they needed to say here."
Tarlov said the key point discovered thus far in the text of the memo is that, although the FBI authorized payment to former United Kingdom spy Christopher Steele, he was never paid and a check was never written.
She said other information in the Trump-Russia dossier was "corroborated, even though a lot of how it was done was redacted."
Watch more above, and watch Catherine Herridge's report on the memo's release below.