(National Sentinel) Transparency: House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif. pushed back against FBI and Justice Department officials on Wednesday after they attempted to convince him and President Donald J. Trump not to release a four-page “FISA memo” that purportedly shows pre-election bias against the Republican nominee.
“Having stonewalled Congress’ demands for information for nearly a year, it’s no surprise to see the FBI and DOJ issue spurious objections to allowing the American people to see information related to surveillance abuses at these agencies,” Nunes said in a statement posted to the committee’s website.
“The FBI is intimately familiar with ‘material omissions’ with respect to their presentations to both Congress and the courts, and they are welcome to make public, to the greatest extent possible, all the information they have on these abuses,” he continued.
“Regardless, it’s clear that top officials used unverified information in a court document to fuel a counter-intelligence investigation during an American political campaign. Once the truth gets out, we can begin taking steps to ensure our intelligence agencies and courts are never misused like this again.”
Democrats and some officials within both agencies have been working behind the scenes and publicly to both delay the memo’s release and discredit it as a partisan attack.
Also Wednesday, the committee’s ranking minority member, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, objected to the memo’s release after minor editorial changes had been made to it in order to satisfy FBI concerns.
Schiff claimed the memo had been “secretly altered” and therefore must be reviewed again by the entire committee before it is released.
“BREAKING: Discovered late tonight that Chairman Nunes made material changes to the memo he sent to White House – changes not approved by the Committee. White House therefore reviewing a document the Committee has not approved for release,” he tweeted, including a copy of a letter he sent to Nunes.
But in response to Schiff, the House GOP noted that changes were minor and editorial in nature while accusing the California Democrat of trying to unnecessarily delay the memo’s release.
“In its increasingly strange attempt to thwart publication of the memo, the Committee Minority is now complaining about minor edits to the memo, including grammatical fixes and two edits requested by the FBI and by the Minority themselves,” said the GOP statement.
“The vote to release the memo was absolutely procedurally sound, and in accordance with the House and Committee rules. To suggest otherwise is a bizarre distraction from the abuses detailed in the memo, which the public will hopefully soon be able to read for themselves,” it added.
Previous reports have claimed that the memo lays out abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by Obama-era FBI and DOJ officials to improperly obtain a surveillance warrant to spy on President Trump’s campaign.
The memo also allegedly names certain department and bureau figures who may have been involved in the scheme.
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