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Former US Attorney troubled by contents of Russia memo release

Former US Attorney troubled by contents of Russia memo release (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - Former U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett Tolman is troubled by the new release of the Russia memo, but also the allegations contained in it.

“I think it sets a bad precedent,” said Tolman, who worked as a lawyer for Republicans in Congress, but who sees future peril with the GOP making the classified memo public. “One side is going to see a document and really clamor to get it released.”

Tolman said he worked with ousted FBI director James Comey, and Robert Mueller, special counsel in the Russia investigation. Among other things, Tolman advised a congressional committee over the Patriot Act, the surveillance law passed by Congress in the wake of the 9-11 attacks.

The memo, released on Friday, said a former British spy was paid $160,000 by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign for opposition research on Trump, now commonly referred to as the “Steele Dossier,” which Comey said under oath was “salacious and unverified.”

But that research was used, according to the memo created by Republican House Intel Committee staff, for a warrant from the secret federal FISA court that led to surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

“It’s dirty,” said Tolman. “It seems dirty at least when you look at that, and you analyze it.”

He said it’s possible, as one leading Democratic congressman alleges, that some important information was excluded from the memo; but he said it would not take away from a central theme.

“They’re now making a connection from the DNC to the purchase of the dossier, and the dossier was important and needed in order to secure the warrant,” he said.

Tolman still expressed confidence in the overall probe by Mueller.

“The man himself that I worked with is not a man whose ethics are easily compromised, if ever.”

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