Rep. Devin Nunes, the Tulare Republican who heads the House Intelligence Committee, on Wednesday blasted the FBI and Department of Justice for opposing the release of his confidential memo, which reportedly states they abused their surveillance powers.
“Having stonewalled Congress’ demands for information for nearly a year, it’s no surprise to see the FBI and DOJ issue spurious objections to allowing the American people to see information related to surveillance abuses at these agencies. The FBI is intimately familiar with ‘material omissions’ with respect to their presentations to both Congress and the courts, and they are welcome to make public, to the greatest extent possible, all the information they have on these abuses. Regardless, it’s clear that top officials used unverified information in a court document to fuel a counter-intelligence investigation during an American political campaign. Once the truth gets out, we can begin taking steps to ensure our intelligence agencies and courts are never misused like this again.”
The FBI said Wednesday in a statement it had “grave concerns ” about the accuracy of the memo after getting a “limited opportunity” to review it, and the Department of Justice earlier said it would be “extraordinarily reckless” to release it without first allowing the department to review the memo for national security concerns.
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The Intelligence Committee voted Monday to make the memo public. The president has five days to allow it to be released or object to the release. After the State of the Union address Tuesday, President Trump was heard telling a member of Congress he supported its public release.
The memo reportedly summarizes the intelligence used by the FBI and the Department of Justice in seeking a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor Carter Page, a Trump campaign foreign affairs adviser. The Department of Justice is investigating claims that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in its meddling in the 2016 election.
The memo reportedly says the government did not tell the court that information supporting the warrant request came from a controversial dossier about Trump prepared for an opposition research firm and paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton for president campaign.
Meanwhile, a separate memo by Democratic members of the Intelligence Committee reportedly counters the Nunes memo, but is not being made public after the committee voted against releasing it.