Democrats hit back at Trump with their own FBI-Russia memo

Adam Schiff with a picture of Donald Trump meeting Sergey Kislyak, Russian ambassador.
Adam Schiff with a picture of Donald Trump meeting Sergey Kislyak, Russian ambassador. Photo credit: Reuters

The US Congress has released a controversial Democratic memo that seeks to undercut Republican claims of FBI misconduct in seeking a surveillance warrant in the Russia probe.

The memo was released on Saturday with redactions from the White House.

Earlier this month, the White House objected to releasing the memo - authored by the House intelligence committee's top Democrat, Adam Schiff - saying it contained sensitive information.

The document comes in response to a memo authored by Republican Devin Nunes which claimed that the FBI withheld the partisan nature of a research dossier it used to obtain a surveillance warrant against Carter Page, a former foreign policy advisor to US President Donald Trump during his election campaign.

"Some time ago, Republicans on our committee released a declassified memo that omitted and distorted key facts in order to mislead the public and impugn the integrity of the FBI," Mr Schiff wrote on Twitter.

"We can now tell you what they left out."

The memo can be read here.

FBI director Christopher Wray and other officials warned that the Republican memo was biased and omitted important information.

"The Democratic response memo released today should put to rest any concerns that the American people might have as to the conduct of the FBI, the Justice Department and the FISC," said Mr Schiff.

"Our extensive review of the initial FISA application and three subsequent renewals failed to uncover any evidence of illegal, unethical, or unprofessional behavior by law enforcement and instead revealed that both the FBI and DOJ made extensive showings to justify all four requests."

The Democratic memo says the FBI sought a warrant on Mr Page because they had ample reason to believe that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power, pointing out that he had a history with Russian intelligence that stretched back to 2013.

It pushes back against claims in the Nunes memo that the FBI relied entirely on a politically motivated dossier authored by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, in its application to obtain a warrant.

Mr Trump called it a "total political and legal BUST" on Twitter, and that it "confirms all of the terrible things that were done. SO ILLEGAL!"

Reuters / Newshub.