Update 1200ET: TRUMP HAS READ NUNES MEMO: WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL
As Reuters adds, the White House was working on Thursday to clear the release of a secret Republican memo. As White House legal and national security experts reviewed the document, the Senate’s No. 3 Republican, John Thune, urged his House of Representatives colleagues to allow the Senate Intelligence Committee to review the document and to heed the FBI’s concerns before they made it public.
The administration official told Reuters earlier the memo was likely to be released on Thursday. The timing, however, remained in flux.
Nunes has dismissed the objections to the memo’s release as “spurious.”
Thune, attending a political retreat in West Virginia with other lawmakers in Trump’s party, urged fellow Republicans to slow down regarding the memo’s release.
“I think the Senate Intelligence Committee needs to see it, for sure,” Thune said. “They need to pay careful attention to what our folks who protect us have to say about what this, you know, how this bears on our national security.”
Thune also said he believed that a counterpoint memo written by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee should be made public if the Republican document is released.
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Update 1120ET: Minutes after Pelosi’s tantrum, Bloomberg reports that The White House plans to sign off on the memo’s release today and send it back to Congress with a declaration that is has been declassified. The committee would then release the memo.
The release is likely to come Friday morning, Fox News is told.
As a reminder, the FISA memo accuses the FBI and Justice Department of misleading a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge in March as they sought to extend an eavesdropping warrant against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, four sources familiar with it told Reuters. The memo contends that the FBI and Justice Department failed to tell the judge that some of the information used to justify the warrant included portions of a dossier of Trump-Russia contacts that was opposition research paid for by Democrats.
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Republicans are reportedly planning to kick off the month of February by releasing the infamous FISA memo alleging “egregious abuses” of FISA surveillance powers by the FBI, Reuters reported citing a Trump administration official who said on Wednesday that the memo is “likely to be released on Thursday.”
The four-page memo has circulated among the House, and has been seen by the president and his chief of staff, John Kelly. Trump has until Friday to decide whether the memo should remain classified.
The news comes after the FBI yesterday issued a “rare public statement” condemning the memo as factually inaccurate, saying it had “grave concerns” about its release, which it said could be detrimental to national security.
FBI Director Christopher Wray
Even Democrats, who initially said the memo was intended to challenge the Mueller probe are now admitting that its contents could be damning, and raise questions about the bureau’s decision to wiretap Trump campaign aide Carter Page – evidence that was used to help justify the launch of the Trump investigation. Adam Schiff, the top Dem on the House Intel Committee, reportedly said yesterday that it could lead the firings of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller.
Earlier this week, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe announced his resignation, reportedly under pressure, as reports of an internal probe leaked. McCabe, along with Former FBI Director James Comey and Rosenstein are all reportedly named in the report.
Trump previously said this week that he was “100%” going to release the memo following a question from a Republican lawmaker following the State of the Union.
According to lawmakers who have reviewed the memo, it contains a discussion about the infamous dossier that was put together about then candidate Donald Trump by a British spy. Most of the claims in the scandalous dossier have not been verified. Most involve alleged ties to Russian entities.
As we reported earlier, the White House is still pondering whether to release the memo’s supporting documents along with the memo.