Like many movements these days it began with a hash tag; #ReleaseTheMemo started trending on Twitter last month leaving many wondering what was contained in this mysterious document.

Congressmen and congresswomen who had seen it were interviewed across all the TV networks here in the US.

Their stock response of "Well, I’d like to talk about it but I can’t" only added to the intrigue. Now we know what’s contained in the memo.

As I held the four-page document in my hand, the first thing I noticed was that at the top of every page the words 'Top Secret' had been crossed out and replaced with the word 'Unclassified'.

The act of changing those words probably only took minutes, but it has sparked a political war here in Washington.

The memo accuses the FBI and the US Justice Department of misleading a judge when they applied for a warrant to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The document alleges that investigators failed to disclose that they were working off a controversial dossier that had been part-funded by the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton.

US President Donald Trump described the contents of the memo as terrible and a disgrace, adding that the people involved should be ashamed of themselves.

A statement from the White House quickly followed and while the language was not as strong, it did say that the memo raised serious concerns about the integrity of decisions taken by the FBI and the US Department of Justice.

The head of that department didn’t exactly jump to the defence of his team, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that while he has great confidence in the men and women who work for him, "no department is perfect".

The memo was commissioned by Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

Democrats on the committee have denied that the FBI and the Department of Justice misled a judge, they've prepared a counter-memo which they hope to publish soon.

Relations between the two parties were already at a low point following weeks of arguing over immigration reform and spending plans but now the two sides are even further apart. Democrats say the memo is misleading and is based on the selective use of highly classified data. 

The House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described the information in the memo as fake, horrible and distorted.

She warned that if Mr Trump used the document as an excuse to fire those investigating him, then it would spark a constitutional crisis.

The White House and senior Republicans have indicated that they’re open to the idea of publishing the Democrats' counter-memo but it may be too late for such an olive branch; the minority party has accused Republicans of showing an astonishing disregard for the truth and has branded their actions as reckless.

So now, after weeks of speculation and rumour, the memo has been released. It had been heavily leaked so its contents didn’t surprise anyone.

Allegations of political bias and misleading a judge are extremely serious and, if true, should be exposed but we’ll have to wait to see the Democrats’ side of the story to make a final judgement.

The release of this memo has further damaged relations between the White House and the Justice Department.

Hopes of building bridges between Democrats and Republicans have also been dashed.

All of these developments will have major ramifications in the coming weeks and months.

We won’t have to wait long for the next big controversy and for the inevitable Twitter hash tag that will follow.