Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Federal Bureau of Investigation has 'grave concerns' about expected release of classified Nunes memo

Tulare Republican Rep. Devin Nunes Tulare Republican Rep. Devin Nunes Nunes for Congress
Sherri Watson | 01 February, 2018, 10:13

Riddle me this: If Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have smoking gun evidence of a deep-state conspiracy that threatens American democracy itself, wouldn't they be doing more than playing silly hashtag games, such as #ReleasetheMemo?

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in Washington, D.C., on January 19, 2018.

In a statement Rep. Nunes called the FBI's objections "spurious" and maintained that the agencies had been misused in their investigation of the Trump campaign. A hot microphone caught the president on Tuesday night telling a lawmaker that he was "100 percent" behind the memo's release.

Late on Wednesday, Representative Adam Schiff, the intelligence committee's ranking Democrat, said he had discovered Nunes had sent a version of the Republican memo to the White House that was "materially altered" and thus was not what was approved for release by the committee's vote.

Rep. Devin Nunes, the panel's chairman, and other Republicans wrote the memo that reportedly includes allegations that the DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigation used some of the information in a controversial dossier to seek a warrant to spy on former Trump campaign staffer Carter Page.

The memo has been a source of controversy since its existence was revealed a few weeks ago.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was appointed by Trump, later authorized further surveillance of Page.

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray has since had an opportunity to review the memo, though it has not been vetted by the FBI's in-house lawyers, according to people familiar with the matter.

The committee voted to release the memo earlier this week, and Trump has until the weekend to decide whether to de-classify the information for public release.

Almost all of the bureau's public releases deal with law enforcement matters, such as crime statistics and case developments. The president himself has attacked McCabe in public and reportedly in private, asking about his voting history and calling his wife, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in Virginia three years ago, a "loser".

Democrats claim it is an attempt to discredit the FBI-led Russian Federation probe. Democrats who have read the memo say it seeks to de-legitimize this investigation by casting doubt on the validity of warrants used to surveil the Trump campaign.

White House chief of staff John Kelly also indicated that the memo's release was imminent.

The FBI has publicly challenged a push by Republican lawmakers to release a controversial memo which purports to show anti-Trump bias at the agency.