The Democrats’ memorandum was released on Saturday as a response to the memorandum on surveillance abuses released by the Republicans in early February.
“This politically driven document fails to answer serious concerns raised by the Majority’s memorandum about the use of partisan opposition research from one candidate, loaded with uncorroborated allegations, as a basis to ask a court to approve surveillance of a former associate of another candidate, at the height of a presidential campaign,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
The spokeswoman stressed that even though the Democrats’ memo was attempting to undercut US President Donald Trump politically, the president had allowed its release “in the interest of transparency.”
Trump also has criticized the memorandum, saying that the document was “a total political and legal bust.”
The Democrat memo response on government surveillance abuses is a total political and legal BUST. Just confirms all of the terrible things that were done. SO ILLEGAL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2018
Earlier in February, Trump allowed the release of a four-page memo prepared by Republicans on the Intelligence Committee. The Republican Party's memo alleged that the Justice Department abused surveillance powers when monitoring Trump's campaign during the 2016 election, in particular when seeking court permission to electronically intercept conversations of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page over his alleged ties with Russia. The memo also accused FBI investigators of political bias against Trump. The FBI objected to its publication.
Trump later refused to release the memo prepared by the Democrats on the Intelligence Committee which served to rebut allegations against the Justice Department, claiming that the document contained sensitive information that should remain classified, and instructed Democrats to work with the FBI to prepare a version that could be made public.
Spying on US citizens is illegal unless authorized by a secret court, which was established under the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).