GOP Rep. Devin Nunes of Calif., chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, may invite Chief Justice John Roberts to testify before the panel on alleged FISA abuses.
Nunes told radio host and Republican wise man Hugh Hewitt Thursday that committee Republicans have entertained the idea, as Roberts appoints all FISA judges, but cautioned no decision has yet been made. Hewitt and Nunes discussed the idea in connection with the committee’s memo on the secret intelligence courts, which alleged the FBI sought authorization to surveil President Donald Trump’s campaign aides on the basis of political opposition research.
“Now the chief justice appoints the FISA judges,” Hewitt said. “Have you had a chance to chat with him or any of the FISA judges about what went on at the FISA court with regard to the Page application?”
“This is something that we’ve been grappling with all through this investigation,” Nunes replied. “We decided that we wanted to complete the FISA abuse portion before we approached the courts. Our next step with the courts is to make them aware, if they’re not aware already, so we will be sending a letter to the court.”
He added that Roberts may yet be invited to testify. – READ MORE
President Trump will not declassify the memo from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee as it currently is written, the White House announced in a letter Friday night. The Democrats’ memo is a rebuttal to theabout surveillance of a former Trump campaign official is expected to be released soon.
“Although the president is inclined to declassify the Feb. 5th memorandum, because the memorandum contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages, he is unable to do so at this time,” the letter from White House counsel Don McGahn to Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, reads.
The White House letter saidofficials will be available to help “should the committee wish to revise the February 5th memorandum to mitigate the risks identified by the department.”
Democrats had concerns with the GOP memo over sensitive information as well, but the president declassified that. Some Republicans have claimed the Democratic memo involved more substantial information about law enforcement sources and methods.
On Friday, the president met with FBI Director Christopher Wray, the principal associate deputy attorney general and the White House counsel’s office to discuss the Democratic memo, according to the White House. The president was given five days to oppose the release of the Democratic memo, after the House Intelligence Committee voted to release it earlier this week.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee had initially opposed the release of the Democratic memo, even as they voted to release the Republican-crafted memo.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., posited that House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., inserted sensitive information in his FISA memo knowing the Trump administration would have to make redactions purely, so he could score political points against the president.
Gowdy, who is chairman of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and a member of the House Intelligence Committee, also strongly implied Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal played a key role in feeding information to the State Department that was used to justify the FISA warrant to surveil the Trump campaign.
“I think the Democrats are politically smart enough to put things in the memo that require either the (FBI) or the Justice Department to say it needs to be (redacted),” Gowdy told Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum on Tuesday night. “Therefore, it creates this belief that there’s something being hidden from the American people.”
“Keep in mind this is the same crowd that voted not to release our memo and voted not to gain a lot of this information over the last 12 months,” he added. “Unfortunately, we’re in an environment where you would include material that you know has to be redacted, and you know responsible people you know are doing to redact it just show that question will be asked.”- READ MORE