Trump-Russia: Republican memo accuses FBI of abusing power


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Media caption“I think it’s terrible…I think it’s a disgrace”, Trump said of the controversial memo

US Congress has released a memo accusing the FBI of abusing its power in its investigations into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

The memo, commissioned by Republicans, alleges the FBI used unsubstantiated evidence to spy on a Trump aide.

Approving its release, Mr Trump called the memo a “disgrace”.

But Democrats say it is aimed at derailing investigations into Mr Trump, while the FBI says key facts have been omitted.

Controversy over the memo, which was written by Republican congressional staffers, has raged for days.

Asked about the contents of the memo, Mr Trump told a lot of people should be “ashamed of themselves”.

Earlier on Friday the president accused top officials of politicising FBI and justice department investigations to damage his Republican party.

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House intelligence panel chairman Devin Nunes, who commissioned the memo, has said it shows “serious violations” of public trust and he hopes it will trigger reforms.

Democrats on the panel say the memo release is a shameful effort to discredit” the FBI and the inquiries in to Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

FBI agents say they “have not, and will not, allow partisan politics to distract” from their work.

What’s in the secret memo?

Approved by the House Intelligence Committee on Monday and by Mr Trump on Friday, the document raises “concerns with the legitimacy and legality” of the handling by the justice department and the FBI of requests for surveillance warrants against a Trump aide called Carter Page.

It says this represents “a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses”.

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The memo argues that the FBI and justice department did not tell the judge that some of their justification for the warrant relied on a much-disputed dossier.

Compiled by a former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele, that dossier was financed in part through the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to dig up data on alleged links between Mr Trump’s campaign and Russia.

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