By Steve Neavling
House Speaker Paul Ryan urged fellow Republicans on Tuesday to resist using a politically divisive memo alleging “shocking” misconduct in the FBI and Justice Department to undermine confidence in the special counsel investigation of President Trump and Russia.
Speaking during a closed-door meeting with Republicans, Ryan implored them not to exaggerate the contents of the four-page memo and to abstain from linking it to the ongoing probe spearheaded by Robert Mueller, a source in the room told The Hill .
“First, there are legitimate questions about whether an American’s civil liberties were violated by the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] process,” he told reporters after the meeting. “This is a completely separate matter from Bob Mueller’s investigation and his investigation should be allowed to take its course.”
Ryan’s words of caution come one day after Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted to publicly release a classified, GOP-drafted memo  that alleges the Justice Department and FBI abused their authority by extending surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser and suspected Russian agent Carter Page.
Some Republicans have already said the memo, which the Justice Department warned would be “extraordinarily reckless” to release, demonstrates an anti-Trump bias in the FBI.
Democrats dismissed the memo as propaganda in the escalating campaign by the president and his allies to undermine the two agencies tasked with overseeing the ongoing investigation of the president, his campaign and Russia. The probe has produced indictments of four former Trump aides so far, and Mueller plans to soon interview the president to determine whether he obstructed justice by trying to tamper with the investigation.
The memo has been delivered to the White House, and Trump has four days to determine whether to approve the document’s release. He initially indicated he supports the memo’s release.
Thousands of Russian-linked social media accounts  have cropped up in the past month to spread support for releasing the document. Many of them have joined a viral hashtag campaign on Twitter – #ReleaseTheMemo – to press for the public disclosure of the memo.