The controversial memo drafted by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes alleging FBI abuses of surveillance laws includes three notable names.
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and former FBI Director James Comey are specifically named in the Republican memo that claims the FBI improperly used its power under FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, to spy on President Trump’s campaign, the Daily Beast reported.
The Justice Department warned Nunes Wednesday that releasing the memo would be “extraordinarily reckless” as an outcry of “Release the Memo” has gained momentum with Republicans and conservatives.
“We do not understand why the committee would possibly seek to disclose classified and law enforcement sensitive information without first consulting with the relevant members of the intelligence community,” Stephen Boyd, an assistant attorney general, wrote to the California Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, according to The New York Times.
“It would be extraordinarily reckless for the Committee to disclose such information publicly without giving the Department and the FBI the opportunity to review the memorandum and to advise the HPSCI [the House intelligence committee] of the risk of harm to national security and to ongoing investigations that could come from public release,” Boyd wrote.
Nunes has reportedly told Republicans that the memo was put together by his staff over a period of months, New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins told The Daily Beast.
With partisan conflict over special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe escalating daily, Democrats continue to claim Republicans are drumming up a false narrative to undermine the investigation. Republicans, on the other hand, are standing on assertions that the “witch hunt” that Trump has referred to is simply a conspiracy to hurt Trump.
Momentum to release the contents of the memo to the public continues to grow as GOP lawmakers have said the FISA document is a game-changer in the Trump investigation. A request by FBI officials to see Nunes’ memo was reportedly denied while the committee voted last Thursday to allow members of the House outside the committee to view the still-classified memo in a secured room.
Democrats drafted a counter-memo “setting out the relevant facts and exposing the misleading character of the Republicans’ document so that members of the House are not left with an erroneous impression of the dedicated professionals at the FBI and DOJ,” Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff said in a statement, according to the Daily Beast.
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