The memo: Trump doubles down amid some GOP doubts

From The Hill:

President Trump on Monday doubled down on his contention that a controversial memo released last week exposed deep political bias at the highest reaches of law enforcement — but some Republicans are dissenting.

Trump insists the memo, written by the staff of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and alleging misdeeds at the FBI and Department of Justice, helps his case that the broader probe into Russia’s election meddling spearheaded by special counsel Robert Mueller is a “witch hunt.”

Democrats scoff, but some Republicans back that position whole-heartedly.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who is among the lawmakers who have been most supportive of Trump, told The Hill, “I think the Mueller investigation is intractably infected with bias, but I think it would be a mistake to view the memo solely in the context of the Mueller probe.”

Yet a number of Republicans — including some outside the ranks of Trump’s usual critics — have broken from the president’s line.

The memo is primarily focused on how a dossier funded by Democrats and prepared by a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, was used in the FBI’s application for a surveillance warrant on Carter Page in 2016. Page had been an adviser to the Trump campaign.

“There is a Russia investigation without a dossier,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. Gowdy added that the dossier “doesn’t have anything to do with obstruction of justice.”

Other leading Republicans, most notably Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.), were pumping the brakes on the most grandiose pro-Trump claims about the Nunes memo before it was even released. On Thursday, Ryan asserted at a news conference, “It does not impugn the Mueller investigation or the deputy attorney general.”