Here are all the Russia investigation memos that we know about and what's in them

nunes

Since President Donald Trump officially authorized the release of House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes’s controversial memo on the Russia investigation on February 2, a host of other memos have seized Washington’s and the public’s attention.

In response to the Nunes memo, which alleges misconduct on the part of the Justice Department and FBI, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee put forward a memo of their own, which is expected to be released Friday. Nunes has also said he plans to release five more as part of an independent investigation he’s been conducting since last year into alleged corruption within the government. 

It can be difficult to make sense of the complex array of narratives and events presented in these memos. Here’s a rundown of all the Russia investigation memos that we know about so far and what they might contain:

SEE ALSO: The Nunes memo fails to answer the key question it is supposed to address

DON’T MISS: ‘Politics of hysteria’: The much-anticipated Nunes memo left experts underwhelmed

The Nunes memo claims investigators improperly used the unverified Trump-Russia dossier to get a surveillance warrant against Carter Page.

The Nunes memo states that the FBI and DOJ used the infamous Trump-Russia dossier as the basis for seeking an initial surveillance warrant targeting former Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser Carter Page. 

Though much of the information in the dossier remains uncorroborated, both the FBI and the Senate Intelligence Committee are using it as a “roadmap” in their Russia investigations.

Its production was funded mainly by the Democratic Party and a law firm tied to former 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The memo claims investigators never made this connection clear to the court granting the so-called FISA warrant.  

Additionally, the memo states that a September 2016 Yahoo News article was used as corroborating evidence for the Trump-Russia dossier in the FBI and DOJ’s warrant application. Nunes writes that this was improper because the article had used the dossier’s author as a source and thus did not amount to an independent corroboration. 

Finally, the memo acknowledges that the FBI’s Russia investigation was not triggered by the dossier, but by a conversation former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had with an Australian diplomat in 2016.

While Republicans say the document is clear evidence of partisan bias at the DOJ and the FBI, Democrats say it contains significant omissions and inaccuracies that mischaracterize the intelligence community’s work.

Here’s the full memo:

House Democrats’ response to Nunes likely fills gaps and adds context to the initial memo.

The House Intelligence Committee voted on February 5 to unanimously to approve the release of a Democratic rebuttal memo authored by ranking member Adam Schiff.

The Democratic memo focuses mainly on pushing back against the Nunes memo’s characterization of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe’s testimony before the committee last year, and its claim that the dossier was the sole basis for the Page FISA application, two sources on the House Intelligence Committee told Business Insider.

It will also dispute Republican claims that the DOJ and FBI concealed critical information about the dossier’s funding from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) when submitting the Page FISA application. Moreover, it will shed light on the FBI’s “pre-existing focus” on Page that was underway long before the DOJ applied for the warrant, a source told Business Insider

A new memo by Sen. Chuck Grassley backs up some of Nunes’s claims and tries to discredit the author of the Trump-Russia dossier.

On February 6, Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the declassified version of a January letter in which he and fellow committee member, Sen. Lindsey Graham, referred Steele to the DOJ for criminal charges stemming from his contacts with the media.

While the letter seems to confirm some of the claims made in Nunes’s memo about the centrality of the Trump-Russia dossier to the FISC warrant application, it undercuts two key allegations made in it as well.

Whereas the Nunes memo states that the court was unaware that the memo was politically produced, Grassley’s letter says investigators did inform the court of that fact, although they did not specifically disclose the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign’s involvement.

In addition, Grassley’s letter contradicts Nunes’s allegation that a September 2016 Yahoo News article was wrongfully presented as corroborating evidence for the Trump-Russia dossier, and writes that the FBI did not argue the article could be used as supporting evidence for the dossier. The revelations implies the court approved the Page warrant based on information outside of what was in the dossier.

Here’s the full memo:

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Meek Mill's Lawyer Uncovers Details In Probation Case – Vibe – Vibe

Six days have flown by since the Philadelphia Eagles clutched the Super Bowl LII title. The team’s road to victory was set to the tune of  Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares” song. While thousands joyously poured into the Philly streets, matching the track’s intense melody, the “City of Brotherly Love” native and rapper turned another page on his 95th day in prison. As Williams awaits his fate in a 8X9 cell, his lawyer, Joe Tacopina, reiterates that the fight for his client’s freedom will not falter despite Brinkley’s acquirement of criminal defense attorney, A. Charles Peruto Jr.

“We look forward to it because this will allow us to put her under oath and be deposed,” Tacopina says. “By the way, we weren’t surprised by this tactic to threaten a lawsuit.” The attorney, who has represented other high-profile celebrities like Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez, revealed that Brinkley has filed 29 personal lawsuits against establishments like Hershey Park for “trauma” and her tenants. “She’s tried to take advantage of her title as a judge to intimidate her tenants in these lawsuits,” Tacopina shares. “We have the evidence and we’re more than happy to put her under oath if she’d be so willing.”

Late last month, Brinkley hired Peruto to salvage her name which she claims Williams and his legal team continue to slander. She has cited instances of defamation and threatened a lawsuit if her credibility remains soiled. When asked how Williams responded to a possible lawsuit given that he’s in prison because of this judge’s ruling, Tacopina said “he doesn’t even blink,” but he believes this could work in their favor when cross-examining Brinkley in court.

Brinkley’s lawyer also seems to have had a previous interaction with Williams. According to Tacopina, Peruto visited the Roc Nation artist after his sentencing to reportedly offer him a legal counsel. But according to The Legal Intelligencer, Peruto states he was initially contacted by Williams. “I told him, you’re going about this the wrong way by laying these personal attacks. They’re not going to get anywhere on appeal,” Peruto said to the news site. “At first, he was all about it, and then Roc Nation was so hell-bent on attacking the judge that they changed Meek Mill’s mind.”

From Tacopina’s recollection, Peruto spoke with attorney Brian McMonagle, a member of Williams’ legal team, to possibly become a part of their defense assembly. McMonagle notified Peruto that his service was not needed and shortly thereafter, Peruto became Brinkley’s representative.

“I read a quote from him that he visited Meek Mill and he discussed a conversation he had with him,” Tacopina reveals. “There’s this little thing called attorney-client privilege. When he was visiting him as a lawyer, he shouldn’t be discussing the advice he gave to him publicly, but that’s what he did. The lawyer she hired is a criminal lawyer, which I think speaks volumes.”

Tacopina feels Brinkley’s decision to attain a criminal lawyer is alarming and probably due to the reported ongoing FBI investigation. Tacopina notes that Brinkley didn’t hire a defamation lawyer, which is the basis for her alleged lawsuit. Given the FBI’s alleged probe into Brinkley’s ethical conduct, Tacopina says “she can’t sit in fair judgment” of Williams’ case.

Another red flag that Williams’ team might use to their advantage concerns the matter of a sealed transcript that documents Williams’ in-chambers conference with Brinkley. Although his team asked to review the concealed document, Brinkley solely released it to Peruto, which Peruto confirmed in that same The Law Intelligencer interview. “She hired a criminal lawyer and this criminal lawyer just showed us that she continues to do things inappropriately,” Tacopina says. Given Brinkley’s reported actions, Tacopina believes this supports his team’s claims that the judge continues to violate “appropriate judicial conduct.”

The 2008 case that introduced Williams to Brinkley also came into question during Tacopina’s investigation. The attorney states they’ve discovered information on Williams’ initial arrest that is “rotten to the core” and can possibly support their case for the 30-year-old’s freedom. Ten years ago, Williams succumbed to the criminal justice system when he was caught in possession of a firearm outside of a local Philadelphia grocery store when he was apprehended and reportedly physically assaulted by police officers. The arrest placed him on a five-year probation that’s still relevant to this day.

In addition to drafting up paperwork to help further build their case, Williams’ team will file documents for a second bail hearing that should enter the court system next week. The first was denied by Brinkley, who claimed Williams posed as a flight risk. The follow-up request will go to the Supreme Court. Given the documents and evidence they’ve acquired of Brinkley’s misconduct, Tacopina believes Williams will be reunited with his family outside of the prison walls, but the pace of his possible release depends on how quickly the criminal justice system will act on their motion.

“There’s no way this injustice will stand,” Tacopina reiterates, “and the amount of information that’s going to come out on the Meek Mill case and people in the Meek Mill case is going to be absolutely astonishing.”

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