DOJ agrees to allow 'extraordinary' access to FISA applications

DOJ agrees to allow 'extraordinary' access to FISA applications
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday agreed to allow additional access by the House Intelligence Committee to view four surveillance applications, calling it an "extraordinary accommodation."

The DOJ said in a letter to the committee that it will allow all members of both the House and Senate Intelligence committees private access to view the classified documents at the Justice Department, emphasizing "unique facts and circumstances."

The four Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications, which allowed the FBI to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, have come under immense scrutiny from GOP lawmakers who allege that the government used biased information in obtaining the FISA warrants. 

Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesTop aide in Kenneth Starr investigation will vote for Dems for first time Vulnerable Republicans include several up-and-coming GOP leaders Dems seek GOP wipeout in California MORE (R-Calif.) earlier this week demanded the DOJ provide access to the FISA applications, as well as provide the original document that constituted the FBI's basis for opening its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.

The DOJ in their response on Friday emphasized their "continuous production" of documents to the committee, promising to turn over another 1,000 pages of documents on Monday.

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The committee previously had access to the FISA materials, but the access was restricted to the chairman and ranking member or their designees. Nunes did not see the material, as he appointed committee member Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyHillicon Valley: FBI fires Strzok after anti-Trump tweets | Trump signs defense bill with cyber war policy | Google under scrutiny over location data | Sinclair's troubles may just be beginning | Tech to ease health data access | Netflix CFO to step down FBI fires Strzok after anti-Trump texts House Intel lawmakers introduce bipartisan election security bill MORE (R-S.C.) to view it in his place. 

Based on that access, Republicans compiled a controversial memo released in February that alleged the DOJ had improperly gained the surveillance warrants using a dossier of unverified research partially funded by Democrats.

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released a countermemo disputing those claims.