The FBI released a stunning statement expressing ‘grave concerns’ about the release of a Republican-crafted intelligence memo that Democrats claim will reveal sources and methods of intelligence gathering.
The FBI made plain its concerns about the memo Wednesday, just hours after President Donald Trump was caught on a hot mic saying he would ‘100 per cent’ allow its release.
The issue fell into Trump’s lap after the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee cast aside Democratic complaints and voted to approve its release, setting in motion a five-day review period.
‘With regard to the House Intelligence Committee’s memorandum, the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it,’ according to the statement.
FBI Director Christopher Wray delivers remarks to a graduation ceremony at the FBI Academy on the grounds of Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, Virginia, U.S. December 15, 2017. The FBI expressed ‘grave concerns’ about the release of a GOP Intelligence memo
‘As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.’
The brief statement made plain that there is a vigorous behind-the-scenes bureaucratic fight about the memo – which Trump has said he wants out.
The four-page memo charges the FBI with bias and takes a critical view of its role during the origins of the Russia probe into associates of Donald Trump.
It also says it reveals possible misconduct in the Justice Department’s decision to seek a warrant for electronic eavesdropping on former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, who traveled to Moscow during the campaign.
Rosenstein is believed to have signed off on that warrant, which got renewed.
U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein arrives to speak at the State of the Net annual conference at the Newseum’s Knight Conference Center in Washington D.C., U.S., January 29, 2018
President Trump told a lawmaker he would allow the release of the memo ‘100 per cent’
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said the GOP-crafted memo would come out ‘pretty quick’
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, walks away from a meeting with House GOP members, on Capitol Hill January 30, 2018
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who overseas Robert Mueller’s Russia probe – told White House chief of staff John Kelly the memo could risk classified information urged the president to reconsider his position, the Washington Post reported.
The FBI’s extraordinary public statement came just hours after Kelly told a radio program the memo would get released ”pretty quick.’
‘It will be released here pretty quick, I think, and then the whole world can see it,’ Kelly told Fox News Radio.
Rosenstein and new Trump-appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray attempted to intervene.
Kelly told the two men Trump was inclined to release it but would subject it to National Security Council review, a senior administration official told the Post.
The Intel panel, which has become highly split along partisan lines, also vote against allowing panel Democrats to release their own rebuttal memo. Democrats say the GOP document cherry picks information and leaves out explanatory information.