Dem memo: Trump-Russia dossier 'played no role' in FBI launching Russia probe

Dem memo: Trump-Russia dossier 'played no role' in FBI launching Russia probe
© Greg Nash

The Democratic rebuttal to the House Intelligence Committee GOP’s memo asserts that the controversial dossier linking the Trump campaign to Russia “played no role” in the FBI launching its investigation into Russian interference in the election.

The document alleges that the FBI was not presented with the information in the dossier until more than seven weeks after it had already opened its investigation.

“Steele’s reporting, which he began to share with an FBI agent [redacted] through the end of October 2016, played no role in launching the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference and links to the Trump campaign,” the Democratic memo reads.

“In fact, Steele’s reporting did not reach the counterintelligence team investigating Russia at FBI headquarters until mid-September 2016, more than seven weeks after the FBI opened its investigation,” the document continues. “By then, the FBI had already opened sub-inquiries into [redacted] individuals linked to the Trump campaign: [redacted] and former campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page.”

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The new memo, a redacted version of which was released Saturday, is the committee’s Democrats’ response to the GOP memo, which alleged that FBI and Justice Department officials misused the FISA surveillance program to spy on Page.

The GOP memo alleged that information from the dossier, a piece of opposition research on then-candidate Trump compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele, was “essential” in the officials seeking a FISA warrant to spy on Page.

The content of the Democratic memo contradicts a key pillar of the GOP argument, that FBI and Justice Department officials with a bias against Trump improperly used the Steele dossier, which was funded in part by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: Trump pushes to speed up 5G rollout | Judge hits Roger Stone with full gag order | Google ends forced arbitration | Advertisers leave YouTube after report on pedophile ring 4 ways Hillary looms over the 2020 race Hillary Clinton met with Biden, Klobuchar to talk 2020: report MORE’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

The GOP memo appeared to prove that the FBI investigation was launched because of information the agency received about former campaign aide George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosWhite House braces for Mueller report Justice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Mueller probe figures use fame to pay bills MORE's contacts with Russian nationals.