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Illinois’ congressional delegations split on significance of FISA abuse memo

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Illinois’ congressional delegation is split along party lines on whether the controversial memo released Friday exposes inherent bias in the FBI against the Trump administration or if it’s meant to undermine law enforcement investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The Republican-crafted memo was released Friday after it got the green light to be declassified from the White House. It alleges leadership at the FBI and the Department of Justice under the Obama administration signed off on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant applications to spy on the Trump campaign without disclosing that the underlying evidence was unsubstantiated opposition research funded by Democrats.

A “Key Points” document released alongside the memo says, “Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the [Democratic National Committee], Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding [Christopher] Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.”

Steele is a former British intelligence officer who was hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia.

The “Key Points” documents also says “Former FBI Deputy Director [Andrew] McCabe confirmed that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) without the Steele dossier information.”

In a statement, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, said the release of the Republican memo was egregious, toxic, and an attack on special investigator Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged wrongdoing by Trump.

The memo was written by staffers of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence with access to tens of thousands of pages of classified intelligence.

Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, told WMAY Springfield he hopes the GOP memo release is just the beginning.

“I would love for the underlying intelligence to come out,” Davis said. “I would love for it to be scrubbed for top secret material. I frankly hope that the Democrat memo gets put out there because I think the American people need to see it all.”

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence last week was unanimous in supporting release of the Democrats’ memo for review by the entire House. But Republicans wanted time to digest the 10-page memo that U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, said has up to 36 footnotes, “and some of the details there could be described as harming national interests.”

“I think we need time to absorb their 10-page memo before we release it to the full public,” Conaway said in transcripts of the committee meeting released alongside the Republican memo.

Following a campaign stop for Illinois gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker in Springfield Saturday, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, said the Republican memo is flimsy and he’s worried about it’s motive.

“No one, including the president, is above the law and this idea that they’re going to undermine the FBI and that basic principle is really worrisome,” Durbin said.

As someone who was caught on FBI wiretaps with imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Pritzker said he didn’t have anything to add to the national conversation, other than it was a crafted distraction from alleged Trump wrongdoing. He said Gov. Bruce Rauner is doing the same thing running ads with Pritzker on the wire taps with Blagojevich.

 

Article By Greg Bishop. For more Illinois News Network content, visit ILNews.org

Illinois News Network, publisher of ILNews.org, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media company dedicated to the principles of transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility in the state of Illinois. INN is Illinois’ pioneering non-profit news brand, offering content from the statehouse and beyond to Illinoisans through their local media of choice and from their digital hub at ILNews.org. Springfield Daily was granted republishing permission by INN.

National Politics

Springfield Daily Radio – Erik Jones Interview

Thomas Clatterbuck

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On this episode of the Thomas Clatterbuck Show, we interviewed Erik Jones. Jones is one of the Democrats running in the 13th Congressional district, which covers most of Springfield.

Jones shared his experiences working for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight. He was directly involved in uncovering the toxic FEMA trailers after Hurricane Katrina. We discussed his inside look at how Congress can work to hold the executive branch accountable.

We went on to discuss the numerous cyber issues facing the nation, including Net Neutrality and control of ICANN, as well as Jones’ views on climate change. The show closed with his response to what political labels he identifies with, and Jones said he’s an “FDR Democrat.” Find out what that means and more the full interview.

You can see all the past episodes of the Thomas Clatterbuck Show on the Springfield Daily Radio page.

You can also learn more about Jones and the other candidates for the 13th on our Campaign Headquarters page.

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National Politics

Springfield Daily Radio – Betsy Dirksen Londrigan Interview

Thomas Clatterbuck

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On today’s show, we interviewed Betsy Dirksen Londrigan. Londrigan is one of the Democrats running for the 13th Congressional seat. The seat is currently occupied by Rodney Davis, a Republican.

Londrigan is a progressive with a strong focus on healthcare. She shared the story of her son who fell critically ill, and how that served as a wakeup call about the need for universal healthcare. She also talked about how the group “Sangamon County Women For Hillary” became “Women Rising” after the election of Donald Trump.

Beyond the mainstream issues of healthcare and climate change, Londrigan also brought up the importance of the Science Advisory board for the EPA, and the changes the President Trump has made to it. She strongly objects to the move which prevents individuals with government grants from serving on the board, and laid out why that prohibition could cause serious issues for the EPA.

You can see all the past episodes of the Thomas Clatterbuck Show on the Springfield Daily Radio page.

You can also learn more about Londrigan and the other candidates for the 13th on our Campaign Headquarters page.

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Illinois Govt

Illinois congressmen pushing to release secret FISA memo, mum on what’s in it

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With all the fervor in Washington D.C. about the investigation into alleged Russia collusion by the Trump campaign, some inside the beltway say something more troubling is found in a memo that’s under lock and key. A couple of Illinois’ congressmen are pushing for the memo’s release.

It’s known as the Nunes Memo because it was crafted by House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes. It’s also been referred to as the FISA Memo because it deals with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

While no one has explicitly revealed what’s in the memo, some speculate it deals with abuse of FISA under the administration of President Barack to spy on American citizens, and possibly President Donald Trump when he was a candidate.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said he’s signed on to a letter to have the memo released. When asked if he agrees with U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, that the allegations are worse than Watergate, Davis said, “I wish I could tell you what was in the memo, but I cannot do that without violating my security clearance.”

“I signed a non-disclosure agreement,” Davis said. “I cannot discuss what was in the memo because I read it in a top secret setting.”

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, said in a letter to Nunes requesting the memo be made public that he believes the allegations of abuses of power by government agencies “are serous matters, and the public has a right to know about them.”

Davis said the ball is rolling to let the memo see the light of day.

“A lot of folks want to see that memo released, but there’s a process that has to happen to get that done and I know our leadership team is working on that process to do so,” Davis said.

Some leading Democrats in Congress have said the memo was crafted as a distraction from the special investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia prior to the 2016 presidential election.

 

Article by Greg Bishop. For more Illinois News Network content, visit ILNews.org. Photo from the office of Rodney Davis. 

 

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