WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Members of Congress hit the morning talk shows Sunday, reacting to the release of a controversial memo written by Republican house staffers.
As CBS News’ Laura Podesta reported, the memo claims the FBI abused is surveillance powers while investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The document contends that the FBI, when it applied for a surveillance warrant on a one time Trump campaign associate, relied excessively on an ex-British spy whose opposition research was funded by Democrats.
At the same time, the memo confirms that the investigation into potential Trump links to Russia actually began several months earlier, and was “triggered” by information involving a different campaign aide.
READ IT HERE: Controversial GOP Memo On Russia Probe Released
Christopher Steele, the former spy who compiled the allegations, acknowledged having strong anti-Trump sentiments. But he also was a “longtime FBI source” with a credible track record, according to the memo from the House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and his staff.
The warrant authorizing the FBI to monitor the communications of former campaign adviser Carter Page was not a one-time request, but was approved by a judge on four occasions, the memo says, and even signed off on by the second-ranking official at the Justice Department, Rod Rosenstein, whom Trump appointed as deputy attorney general.
Democrats criticized the Friday release of the controversial four-page memo, calling it an attack on the nation’s intelligence and security agencies.
“The interest wasn’t oversight,” said U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Califonia). “The interest was a political hit job on the FBI in the service of the president.”
The memo further claims that Steele was being paid $160,000 by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
“I would argue it’s also somewhat unprecedented to rely on political opposition research to instruct and inform an application, and it’s really bad precedent and unprecedented to not tell a court that a source has this level of bias,” said U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina).
President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday night that the FBI bad become “a tool of anti-Trump political actors.”
Democrats said the American people should note that a corresponding memo written by their party was not released in conjunction with the Republican one. If it were, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said it would become clear that the Republicans are cherry-picking facts.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) is calling on President Trump to back the public release of a Democratic rebuttal to the GOP memo.
Schumer said Americans are getting a one-sided account of the FBI’s role in the investigation.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)