FBI Has 'Grave Concerns' On Republican-Authored FISA Memo Trump Wants Released




 

WASHINGTON ― The FBI has "grave concerns" about a secretive Republican-authored memo that members of Congress have been using to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian interference with the 2016 election.

In an extraordinary public statement on Wednesday, the bureau said the classified four-page memo authored by Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee had "material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy."

In a party-line vote, the House Intelligence Committee used a rarely invoked procedure to approve the release of the memo, which is based on classified documents the Justice Department provided to the committee. The memo reportedly alleges that the Justice Department and the FBI abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to spy on Carter Page, who was associated with the Trump campaign, ahead of the 2016 election.

Actual FISA experts have treated that claim with extreme skepticism.

President Donald Trump has indicated he supports the memo being made public, telling a House Republican after the State of the Union address that he would "100 percent" release it. Trump's statement was at odds with the position of his own White House, which had insisted an actual review process was in place.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday urged his colleagues not to use the memo to undermine the Mueller probe, calling it "a completely separate matter." His statement was a bit late ― Republicans and Fox News anchors had been using the mysterious memo to suggest it was time to fire Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has oversight of the special counsel investigation.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee and the man chiefly responsible for the memo, issued a statement on Wednesday saying DOJ and the FBI "stonewalled" Congress for nearly a year and that they issued "spurious objections to allowing the American people to see information related to surveillance abuses."

"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," said Nunes, a member of Trump's transition team. "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."

Asked if the Justice Department backed the FBI's position, a department spokesperson noted that the FBI is part of DOJ, and did not immediately respond to a follow-up question. A spokesperson for Mueller's office declined to comment.

Republican attacks on the FBI appear to have had a detrimental impact on the public's trust in the bureau. The percentage of Republicans who said they had at least a fair amount of trust in the FBI dropped 22 points from 2015 to 2018, according to a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll. The percentage of independents who had at least a fair amount of trust dropped 15 points over that timeframe, while Democrats' trust of the bureau remained roughly level.

Here's the FBI's full statement:

This article has been updated with comment from Nunes, a response from Mueller's office, and information from the HuffPost/YouGov poll.

Ryan Reilly is HuffPost's senior justice reporter, covering criminal justice, federal law enforcement and legal affairs. Have a tip? Reach him at ryan.reilly@huffpost.com or on Signal at 202-527-9261.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Florida man pleads guilty to mailing bombs to Trump foes
Florida man pleads guilty to mailing bombs to Trump foes

NEW YORK (AP) - A Florida man pleaded guilty Thursday to sending pipe bombs to CNN and prominent critics of President Donald Trump in a wave of attacks that harmed no one but spread fear of political violence across the U.S. for days leading up to last fall's midterm elections.

Trump to order colleges to back free speech or lose funding
Trump to order colleges to back free speech or lose funding

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Thursday requiring U.S. colleges to certify that they protect free speech on their campuses or risk losing federal research funding, White House officials said.

Trump
Trump's invective at John McCain dismays some Republicans

Casting aside rare censure from Republican lawmakers, President Donald Trump aimed new blasts of invective at the late John McCain , even claiming credit for the senator's moving Washington funeral and complaining he was never properly thanked. Trump then launched a lengthy rant in which he claimed

Trump
Trump's border wall money may come at expense of schools for military kids
  • US
  • 2019-03-20 20:01:47Z

The U.S. Department of Defense is proposing to pay for President Donald Trump's much-debated border wall by shifting funds away from projects that include $1.2 billion for schools, childcare centers and other facilities for military children, according to a list it has provided to lawmakers. The Pentagon gave Congress a list on Monday that included $12.8 billion of construction projects for which it said funds could be redirected. The move comes as a surprise given the Trump administration's oft-touted support for the sacrifices made by military families and suggests the White House's desire to build a wall on the border with Mexico outstrips nearly all other issues.

Trump: Mueller report
Trump: Mueller report 'ridiculous' but should be released

"Let it come out, let people see it," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Wednesday for a trip to Ohio. Mueller is expected to present a report to the Justice Department any day now outlining the findings of his nearly two-year investigation into Russian election meddling, possible

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.