The GOP-majority House Intelligence Committee voted Monday night to publicize a classified memo proving what Republicans claim to be “shocking” surveillance abuses and political bias within the Justice Department and FBI.
The memo was compiled by committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), who recused himself from the committee’s Russia collusion investigation last year after allegations of coordination with the White House. The Intelligence Committee has allowed all House members to read the memo, but has kept it hidden from the Justice Department, FBI, and Senate Intelligence Committee.
The 4-page memo allegedly contains proof of FISA abuses and “raises serious questions about the upper echelon of the Obama DOJ and Comey FBI as it relates to the so-called collusion investigation,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY).
The Department of Justice strongly opposes the release of the document, but the final decision will be up to President Trump, who has five days to decide whether he has any objections to the decision. Trump, who has referred to the Russia investigation as a “witch hunt” and “hoax,” is inclined to approve it.
As I wrote earlier this month, the contents of the memo could shed light on the unmasking controversy, the Steele dossier, and other scandals related to the Trump campaign.
While the precise contents of the memo remain unknown, Republicans have accused the DOJ and FBI of violating FISA protocol by failing to explain that the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign team helped finance the research that was used to obtain a warrant on Trump adviser Carter Page.
“It cites the role of deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and outgoing deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe for their roles in overseeing aspects of the investigation,” reports CNN. Rosenstein was the one to appoint Robert Mueller to lead the Russia investigation.
“We’ve taken the position that this is a serious issue that needs to be disclosed to the public,” said Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX).
Democrats see the memo as an attempt to undermine the Russia investigation and insist the details make no sense without underlying intelligence that is highly classified. The underlying intelligence justifying the memo’s claims is so sensitive that only eight members of Congress have been allowed to read it.
Monday’s vote marked the crossing of a “deeply regrettable line in this committee, where for the first time in the 10 years I’ve been on the committee, there was a vote to politicize the declassification process of intelligence,” complained ranking Democrat Adam Schiff (D-CA), one of the few lawmakers to read the classified information. “A very sad day, I think, in the history of this committee.”
Nunes insists the memo will stand on its own, without the classified information to substantiate its claims.
Along with Monday’s vote on the memo was a second vote not to release a Democrat-drafted counter-memo.
Editor’s note: This document is said to provide proof of massive bias and collusion against Trump by the White House and high levels of the FBI. This is not some “dossier” provided by third party purveyors of fiction. This was compiled by the House Intelligence Committee from Federal investigative resources. It may prove the President’s charges of wiretapping to be true. It may prove the “collusion” investigation was begun under false pretenses.
When this is released, we will do a detailed evaluation of the document, and share it with our loyal audience.