Nunes won’t even release his memo to Senate Republicans

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have called the Nunes memo "profoundly misleading."

Rep. Devin Nunes. CREDIT: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Rep. Devin Nunes. CREDIT: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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.”

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.

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.

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.”