The Republican memo released Friday about the federal investigation of President Donald Trump makes two points that some legal experts say support the integrity of the investigation and undermine Republican attempts to discredit the FBI.

The memo clarifies that the FBI investigation into the 2016 election was triggered not by a controversial dossier financed by Democrats, but by information about George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser who met with Russians in early 2016 and is now cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller.

The memo also reveals that a federal judge renewed a surveillance warrant on another Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, three times after the initial approval in October 2016.

Warrants granted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), such as the one approved for Page, are valid for only 90 days and can be renewed only if a judge is convinced the warrant has yielded valuable intelligence.

“The public has been given kind of half a loaf,” said R. Stephen Stigall, a federal prosecutor in the Justice Department’s national security unit from 2002 to 2017. “You don’t know what else was in those warrants.”

Related Practice