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‘Bias’ memo and Trump’s full-throttle battle with FBI risks wrecking public faith in 2016 election

By approving the release of the secret memo Donald Trump has defied the intelligence community and sided with Republicans, putting himself in direct opposition to the very people he put in place at the FBI.

The President has cast the move as an act of transparency, providing the public with the information he claims they need to know, that the FBI was biased against him.

The story now has a very British element, too.

The four-page document, compiled by Republicans and without redactions, alleges that the FBI used unsubstantiated allegations of collusion made by former British spy Christopher Steele in the Russian dossier to obtain a warrant to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

:: Latest reaction to release of controversial memo

Donald Trump has approved the released of the secret memo
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Donald Trump approved the release of the secret memo on Friday

Another key allegation is that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was not told that Mr Steele was demonstrably anti-Trump and that the research was funded by the Clinton campaign.

So what next? The FBI warned they had “grave concerns” about the accuracy of this document. Now there is a chance that Christopher Wray will walk from his post as director of the FBI.

Democrats believe the document is being used to discredit the wider investigation into alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

FBI Director Robert Mueller has been investigating alleged ties to Russia
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Robert Mueller has been investigating alleged ties to Russia

They fear as one man walks, another, Robert Mueller, the man overseeing the investigation, could be fired.

Capitol Hill is largely divided along party lines. Some moderate Republicans like Senator John McCain have sided with the Democrats’ case.

He released a statement saying “the latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interest – no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s.”


U.S. President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions (2nd R) and FBI Director Christopher Wray (R) in a graduation ceremony

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President Trump approves release of secret FBI memo

Whether or not this is regarded as a slam-dunk, fait accompli, it will be used by Donald Trump to prop up his long-proffered view that claims of collusion between his team and the Kremlin is a delusion based on bias.

There is now a full-throttle battle between the President and law enforcement.

There may well soon be causalities – not least public faith in the truth behind what really happened in the 2016 election.

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