Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley believes nothing in the House Intelligence Committee memo “remotely” justifies the extreme rhetoric from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
And Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University, is a Democrat.
“Those of us who have been working in national security cases a long time expected there to be some type of footprint of sources and methods,” he said, appearing on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Friday.
“There wasn’t. This thing wasn’t even remotely classified,” Turley added. “That really concerns a lot of us because it’s the use of classification laws for tactical purposes.”
He noted that the FBI cited inaccuracies in wanting to keep the memo classified, but said that was an argument over how the facts were portrayed, not about their sensitive nature.
“Critics have said for years that the FBI and other agencies have been classifying material to avoid embarrassment,” Turley said.
“This may be the most public and relatively rare example of that,” the law professor argued. “There is nothing remotely in this memo that justifies the rhetoric used by Minority Leader Pelosi and ranking member [Rep. Adam] Schiff.”
“They all said there would be dire consequences,” he continued. “The FBI director said there would be grave problems that would arise with the release. And then you look at the memo and it’s sort of an empty grave.”
The memo “was written to avoid sources and methods,” Turley said.
“It was confirming that the dossier was a critical part, if not the determinative part in securing that FISA order,” he explained. “So, the question returns us to why did all of these members say that this would jeopardize national security?”
In effect, why did they lie to the American people?
“When you say there’s a national security risk about a document being released and it is something of this kind that doesn’t have any sources of methods or sensitive information, it’s a problem,” Turley said.
“Because that’s lying to the American people.”
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