The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee suggested Tuesday that the FBI and the Justice Department are asking for excessive redactions from a memo written by Democrats to rebut GOP assertions that the FBI unlawfully spied on a Trump campaign adviser.
Rep. Adam Schiff said FBI and Justice Department officials have flagged “everything that isn’t already a matter of public record” from the memo, whose release President Donald Trump blocked last week on national security grounds.
Trump had previously agreed to declassify a Republican memo earlier this month that suggests wrongdoing by senior FBI officials, which Democrats called misleading and a diversion from the federal probe into Trump’s Russia ties.
Speaking at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington, Schiff speculated that “the White House must have asked” the FBI and Justice Department to raise these broad concerns.
Complaining that the officials’ requests would leave little of value in the memo, Schiff urged a focus on “redactions that are necessary to protect sources and methods.”
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., slammed Democrats on Sunday for spending the weekend spinning their memo to the media rather than redacting the document, which supposedly counters a Republican memo alleging surveillance abuses by the FBI and Justice Department under the Obama administration.
“The Democrats have been on TV all weekend long. Their memo is sitting at the House Intelligence Committee down at the bottom of the Capitol waiting to be redacted,” Nunes told “Sunday Morning Futures” on Fox News.
“If they really wanted to get it out, they’d be down there all day yesterday redacting it, getting it back over to the White House so that the public can know what’s in it. So, this is nothing but politics,” the House Intelligence Committee chairman continued. – READ MORE
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.