On Friday, the Republicans of the House Intelligence Committee released a memo that we have all been waiting for. It alleges that the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) abused their authority in order to get their hands on a surveillance warrant on Trump’s former campaign advisor Paul Manafort.
Shortly after its release, Fox News Host Sean Hannity called for the charges to be dropped against both Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Manafort was indicted last year during Mueller’s investigation and currently faces numerous criminal charges such as tax evasion and money laundering. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, so the charges being dropped against him look a little less likely than Manafort.
“The FBI misled and purposefully deceived a federal court while using an unverified, completely phony opposition research bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton to spy on an opposition campaign during a presidential election!” Hannity said, “Now that type of abusive power, that type of corruption, that shredding of the Constitution––it is unprecedented in American history.”
He claimed that “crimes have been committed,” and added that that Comey, McCabe, and Rosenstein “should be investigated.”
“Now if this never happened, there would be no Robert Mueller,” Hannity added, “And these revelations are so profound, this corruption’s so deep, it is so obvious that the special counsel needs to be shut down immediately.”
“If we as a country, if we care about the Constitution, if we believe in civil liberties, if we believe in those protections, then the special counsel must be disbanded immediately,” Hannity continued, “And by the way – nobody else will say this – all charges against Paul Manafort and Gen. Michael Flynn need to be dropped. It’s that simple.”
He also touched on the memo’s allegation that in order to obtain that surveillance warrant, the FBI used unverified allegations against Trump, which rumored him to have ties to Russia, as key evidence.
That dossier, which was commissioned by the private research firm Fusion GPS and compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, was funded by Hillary Clinton‘s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Still, the memo also undercut a long-held assertion by conservatives that the counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign was based entirely on the dossier. According to the memo, the probe was opened based on “information” on another Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos.
The memo’s release was contentious, with Republicans arguing that revealing the information was necessary to shed light on abuses by FBI and DOJ officials. Democrats, on the other hand, argued that the memo omitted key facts that would have put the information in the proper context.
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