White House Seems To Support Releasing Secret Congressional Memo

Rep. Devin Nunes R-Calif. on Tuesday Dec. 5 2017. Bill Clark  CQ Roll Call via ZUMA Press

More than 190 members have viewed the document in a secure room inside the Capitol since Republicans on the panel voted to release it to the full House last week.

The Justice Department has warned Republican Congressman Devin Nunes against releasing a memo that claims to show surveillance power abuses. The memo has been criticized as a distraction from Mueller's investigation.

And because the House Intelligence Committee did not release the Nunes memo before the FISA vote, Congress approved the reauthorization and Trump signed it "in ignorance".

King added that the memo could be declassified and made public in 10-12 days.

President Donald Trump referred to the missing texts late Tuesday night, asking about the whereabouts of the "50,000 important text messages". The two committees have received numerous same documents each requested by members of Trump's team, though the panels don't typically share information like transcripts of their interviews.

In a scathing editorial, the Fresno Bee charged Nunes with failing to represent his constituents in California by "waving around a secret memo attacking the FBI" instead of focusing on "health care, jobs" and Dreamers. Burr's assessment would be significant as he is one of the few lawmakers with access to all of the underlying intelligence. A letter sent to Nunes this past week from Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd urged that the document not be released before the Justice Department reviews it for possible national security damage. The Trump Justice Department wants to see it-he won't let them.

"These are texts between two people holding an extramarital affair and they are completely unguarded in their communication, and so we're getting an insight into exactly what's happening inside the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the highest levels", Johnson said.

GREENE: I know you can't tell us what is in this memo since it's classified, but what can you tell us about it?

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A spokesman for Ryan pushed back at the DOJ's characterization of the negotiations.

"You and I have had the opportunity to review numerous documents that the intelligence committee claims are the basis for its memo", Nadler wrote to his committee's chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia. In 2004, when then-president George W. Bush's White House attempted to re-authorize warrantless wiretapping over the objection of the Justice Department, Wray, then the head of its criminal division, was ready to resign-alongside then-deputy attorney general Comey.

If the President doesn't object, the document will be released.

Until that happens, however, it appears that the memo will continue to be guarded from those who don't serve in the House.

This week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) commented on the lost texts, saying: "The omission of text messages between December 2016 and May 2017, a critical gap encompassing the FBI's Russian Federation investigation, is equally concerning".

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, who sits on the intelligence committee, was briefed on the memo by Nunes, but did not view the document.

Nunes' office didn't immediately respond to the complaint. At the end of that investigation, you probably think, Mueller will present his findings, there either will or won't be evidence of serious wrongdoing, some people might be indicted (a couple already have), and whatever the outcome of those criminal cases, our political system will have to sort out what to do about the whole matter, if anything. "Any delay in the release of the memo should only be to protect sensitive sources and methods of the Intelligence Community".

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