FEBRUARY 01, 2018
The FBI began the investigation in July 2016 when it became concerned that Russians were trying to influence members of Trump’s campaign to act on behalf of the Kremlin.
House Republicans and their allies say the memo will show that the FBI abused its authority by using the dossier to convince a federal judge to authorize surveillance of Page, and not disclosing the background of the dossier. The dossier, written in 2016 by a former British spy, was commissioned by a Washington research group under contract to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The research group, Fusion GPS, assigned the spy to look into Trump’s business dealings in Russia.
“They went to the court and didn’t tell the court it came from the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC. That is a scandal of grave proportions. And that’s why the DOJ and the FBI fought tooth and nail to keep the underlying records away from the House,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group that frequently sues to get government records.
The Republican memo draws attention to the secret process the FBI and other agencies use to get permission to conduct surveillance on suspected foreign intelligence agents. So-called FISA applications — named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — go before a special court for review and approval.