A secret Republican memo claims that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last year approved an application that extended surveillance of former Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
According to the New York Times, which cited three people familiar with the memo, the FBI and Justice Department’s (DOJ) application was based partially on research by investigator Christopher Steele, who contributed to a dossier containing unverified claims about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
The memo accuses some officials that they did not have sufficient information for extending the surveillance.
The New York Times reports that there is no information that the FBI or DOJ did anything improper in their attempts to get a surveillance warrant. However, Republicans could seize on the information and allege that Rosenstein didn’t properly vet the application.
Hogan Gidley, the White House spokesman stated that President Trump “has been clear publicly and privately that he wants absolute transparency throughout this process.”
“Based on numerous news reports, top officials at the F.B.I. have engaged in conduct that shows bias against President Trump and bias for Hillary Clinton. While President Trump has the utmost respect and support for the rank-and-file members of the F.B.I., the anti-Trump bias at the top levels that appear to have existed is troubling,” he said.
Page was Trump’s foreign policy adviser until September 2016.
According to The Hill, Congressional Republicans on Sunday pleaded their case for releasing the classified four-page memo, which was produced by staff for Representative Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, based on classified documents provided by the DOJ and FBI. The memo is said to contain allegations that senior FBI officials abused a surveillance program to target the Trump campaign last year.
Almost all Republicans ask that the memo be released publicly. However, if its release should come after its reviewed first by the administration, is a matter of dispute.
Rosenstein was the one that appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the investigation into Russia’s meddling in 2016 elections. Mueller was assigned as a response to Trump firing former FBI director James Comey back in May 2017.