Congressman Tim Ryan Responds to the Release of House Intelligence Committee Democratic Memo
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan today responded to the Saturday release of the House Intelligence Committee Democratic memo. The memo was in response to an earlier version released by the Republican members of the committee, who intentionally omitted, obscured, and lied about facts to muddy the waters and confuse the American people.
“Saturday’s release of the House Intelligence Committee Democrats’ memo serves to illustrate just how much Congressional Republicans are willing to distort the truth to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Congress should be standing united in the face of a foreign threat to the very foundation of our democracy. Instead, the GOP is shamefully muddying the waters to confuse the American people and slander the brave men and women of the FBI and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies. They must stop this selfish behavior, work to protect the integrity of our elections, and allow Mueller’s investigation to continue without interference,” said Congressman Ryan.
Here are some of the material facts the Republican Majority deliberately omitted that have been clarified by the Democrats:
- The FBI supplied information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that Russia might be colluding with Trump campaign associates. DOJ provided the Court with a comprehensive explanation of Russia’s election interference including evidence that Russia courted another Trump foreign policy advisor, George Papadopoulos, and that Russian agents previewed their dissemination of information damaging to Hillary Clinton. Russian assistance would, as we would learn in the Papadopoulos plea, take the form of the anonymous disclosure of thousands of Hillary Clinton and DNC emails.
- The FBI had ample reason to believe that Carter Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power based on his history, including the fact that he had previously been a target of Russian recruitment, his travel to Russia, and other information. The renewals of the FISA were also appropriate and based on new information obtained by law enforcement.
- The FBI did disclose that those who employed Christopher Steele were likely motivated to discredit Trump’s presidential campaign. The Bureau used proper masking procedures so as not to reveal the identities of U.S. persons not subject to the FISA, but made clear that the likely purpose was opposition research.
- Contrary to the Majority’s assertions, the FBI and DOJ did not use a Yahoo News article to corroborate Steele; it was referenced alongside another article and a letter Page wrote to then FBI Director James Comey to inform the court of Page’s public denials.