Sunday, 25 February, 2018


'Grave Concerns' About Accuracy of Classified Russia-Linked Surveillance Memo

'Grave Concerns' About Accuracy of Classified Russia-Linked Surveillance Memo 'Grave Concerns' About Accuracy of Classified Russia-Linked Surveillance Memo
Bennie Garza | 01 February, 2018, 23:41

The FBI made a decision to go public after FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is supervising Mueller's investigation, failed to convince the White House or House Republicans that the GOP memo is misleading and its underlying classified material should remain secret.

Chairman Nunes, who served on the Trump team during his White House transition, said on Wednesday it was "no surprise" that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has objected to the memo's release.

The FBI has declared that it has "grave concerns" about the accuracy of a classified memo on the Russian Federation election investigation that President Donald Trump wants released. The FBI director and the deputy attorney general have told the White House releasing it could set a unsafe precedent.

The memo, which reportedly alleges that the FBI abused its surveillance authority in connection with a secret court warrant, should not be released, the bureau said in the statement, warning that the memo excludes essential information and is misleading.

"It's clear that top officials used unverified information in a court document to fuel a counter-intelligence investigation during an American political campaign", he said. "Once the truth gets out, we can begin taking steps to ensure our intelligence agencies and courts are never misused like this again".

Trump and his Republican allies in Congress and the media have been pushing hard for the memo's release, saying it shows that the nation's top law-enforcement agencies are biased against the president.

The U.S. leader has not released it yet, but in a conversation picked up by a television camera after his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Trump told a congressman that he was "100 percent" in favor of its disclosure.

A White House spokeswoman says she is not aware that President Donald Trump has seen a classified memo on the Russian Federation investigation that he favors releasing.

White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNN Wednesday that a legal and national security review of the document was continuing.

Instead, they say, Nunes is running a politically-motivated stunt to smear the Mueller collusion investigation, which is also examining whether Trump tried to obstruct the probe.

"It will be released here pretty quick, I think, and the whole world can see it", White House chief of staff John Kelly said during an interview with Fox News Radio on Wednesday morning. Under committee rules, the president has five days to object to its release.

According to Republicans, the memo alleges surveillance misconduct in the early stages of the FBI's investigation into potential Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation. The document is at the centre of a partisan fight over investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election and possible collusion by Trump's campaign, which both Russia and Trump have both denied.

A Ryan spokesperson did not respond to inquiries about Nunes' changes to the memo, and could not be reached about the Schumer letter or Pelosi letter. Officials have been unable to say whether anyone inside the White House worked with Nunes or House Republicans on the document.

Despite Wray's concerns about the memo, the GOP-led House committee voted along party lines Monday to release it.

It had not yet been settled whether the White House or the committee would handle the actual release, which could come as soon as late Wednesday or Thursday.

Democrats on the committee have offered shifting explanations as to why the memo should not be released - that it was unsafe to national security; that readers would not understand; and that it is a distortion of the facts.

Schiff spoke at an event sponsored by the news site Axios.

The memo concerns an application by US law enforcement authorities to the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor contacts Trump campaign adviser Carter Page may have had with Russian operatives leading up to the 2016 USA presidential election. Gowdy said the memo doesn't reveal any intelligence methods but it does reveal "one source". He warned that making the document public could set a unsafe precedent.

The Washington Post first reported the details of the White House meeting.

Asked about the FBI's statement during an Oval Office meeting with American taxpayers, Trump declined to respond.

The four-page memo reportedly summarizes some classified information that committee staffers were allowed to view in a secure setting and take notes on, but not to keep. Wray reviewed the memo over the weekend.

Democrats have drafted their own memo refuting what the Republicans' memo says.

So far, the official said, the Justice Department is the only agency opposing its release. The memo was crafted by Nunes.

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