A four-page memo drafted by the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and his staff reportedly alleges misconduct related to the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign for possible collusion with Russia — but Nunes won’t share the memo with the Department of Justice, the FBI, or the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, said Wednesday that Democrats on the committee have written and will release their own competing memo to counter the claims set forth in the Nunes memo.
Schiff, who called the Nunes memo “profoundly misleading” and “another effort to distract from the Russia probe and undermine the special counsel,” wrote that now is the time for Democrats to set out the “relevant facts and exposing the misleading character of the Republicans’ document.”
Schiff says that House Intelligence Democrats have drafted their own memo "exposing the misleading character of the Republicans’ document so that members of the House are not left with an erroneous impression of the dedicated professionals at the FBI and DOJ." pic.twitter.com/uYC1zHRBRS
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 24, 2018
A number of Trump-supporting Republicans like Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) have flooded the airwaves of Fox News, arguing that the memo is grounds for firing special counsel Robert Muller. The hashtag #releasethememo has gained popularity among President Donald Trump’s most prominent supporters.
This latest effort comes after Republicans and key figures in the right-wing media have been working for months to discredit the Mueller investigation.
The democrats are lucky Republicans are honorable people. If we played the game like they do the memo would be all over CNN and everywhere else by now. Maybe it’s time we stoop to their level? #releasethememo
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 19, 2018
I viewed the classified report from House Intel relating to the FBI, FISA abuses, the infamous Russian dossier, and so-called "Russian collusion." What I saw is absolutely shocking.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) January 19, 2018
But Nunes won’t share the memo with anyone other than House Republicans, even Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to a CNN report.
Staff working for committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) reportedly requested a copy of the memo and were denied, just as the FBI and Justice Department were similarly denied access to reviewing a copy of the document.
A number of journalists and legal experts deduct that Nunes’ close guarding of the memo is suspect.
What's interesting about the #releasethememo campaign is Nunes et al are not eager to release it to anyone who has access to the same underlying intelligence (Senate Intel, FBI) and could thereby independently evaluate its claims. https://t.co/pt0F8wLVHf
— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) January 24, 2018
Which is to say, Devin Nunes is willing to share memo with anyone who wants to see it, so long as they can't check hisi work, but with none of the people who can check his work, not even from w/in his own party.
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) January 24, 2018
ABC News reported Wednesday evening that the Department of Justice, which again was denied access to the memo, has warned Nunes that it would be “extraordinarily reckless” disclose the memo without first allowing the department to assess whether the details would pose a threat to national security.
“We believe it would be extraordinarily reckless for the Committee to disclose such information publicly without giving the Department and the FBI the opportunity to review the memorandum and to advise the [committee] of the risk of harm to national security and to ongoing investigations that could come from the public release,” a top Justice Department official wrote in a letter to Nunes. “Indeed, we do not understand why the Committee would possibly seek to disclose classified and law enforcement sensitive information without first consulting with the relevant members of the Intelligence Community.”