Tags: Paul Ryan | fisa memo | department of justice | speaker paul ryan | fbi

Speaker Ryan: FISA Memo Raises 'Specific, Legitimate' Concerns

Speaker Ryan: FISA Memo Raises 'Specific, Legitimate' Concerns
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By    |   Friday, 02 February 2018 02:57 PM

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) system is critical to keep the United States safe from real and evolving threats, and there are serious concerns raised in a newly released memo claiming the FBI and Justice Department misused FISA to spy on a former campaign aide for President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday.

"The matter of concern outlined in this memo is a specific, legitimate one," Ryan said in a statement released after Trump announced he would be declassifying the four-page document from the House Intelligence Committee. "Our FISA system is critical to keeping America safe from real and evolving threats. It is a unique system with broad discretion and a real impact on Americans' civil liberties."

In the memo, written by Republican members of the committee, it is reported that the FBI used a controversial dossier written by British spy Christopher Steele as a means to getting a warrant for surveillance on Carter Page, who was serving as a campaign aide at that time.

The memo states that the FISA court was not presented with information about the Steele document itself, or backing by Democratic National Committee or Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Further, the memo claims that a Yahoo! News article, published in September 2016, was used to back up the dossier, when Steele had actually leaked details about the document and about Page to several media outlets, including Yahoo!

"Unlike most judicial proceedings, the FISA system depends not on an adversarial process, but instead on the government providing a complete presentation of the facts and circumstances underlying its warrant applications," Ryan said. "It is clear from this memo that didn't happen in this case, and as a consequence an American's civil liberties may have been violated."

Ryan added he also has "serious concerns" with the practice of using political documents, funded by a rival candidate's campaign, "to make law enforcement and counterintelligence decisions."

The government must work together to be sure the FISA system works as it is intended and that Americans' rights are safeguarded properly, Ryan said.

Democrats have also compiled a memo, but the Republican-led Intelligence Committee rejected advancing it to Trump for consideration that it be declassified as well. Paul said he also wants that memo to be released.

"I am glad that this memo helps to provide greater transparency, and I reiterate my support for the similar release of the minority's memo once it is properly scrubbed of all intelligence sources and methods," Ryan said. "It is critical that we focus on specific actions and specific actors and not use this memo to impugn the integrity of the justice system and FBI, which continue to serve the American people with honor."

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The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) system is critical to keep the United States safe from real and evolving threats, and there are serious concerns raised in a newly released memo claiming the FBI and Justice Department misused FISA to spy on a former campaign...
fisa memo, department of justice, speaker paul ryan, fbi
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2018-57-02
Friday, 02 February 2018 02:57 PM
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