‘Grave Concerns’: FBI Slams Accuracy of Memorandum Alleging FISA Abuse
AP Photo/ Louis LanzanoUS01:21 01.02.2018Get short URL
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has serious concerns about the accuracy of a Republican-drafted memorandum alleging abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the Russia probe, the bureau said in a statement on Wednesday.
“[T]he FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it,” the bureau said. “[W]e have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”
The US House Intelligence Committee on Monday voted to release the four-page memo initiated by chairman Devin Nunes, despite Democrats opposing the decision.
The FBI said it is committed to cooperating with oversight entities to make sure the bureau is following the appropriate FISA process.
The memo alleged FBI and Justice Department high-level officials misused power in relation to President Donald Trump campaign’s surveillance.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’s (FISA) Section 702 allows the intelligence community to conduct warrantless surveillance of non-US citizen terror suspects.
Earlier in January, the president signed a bill renewing the FISA spying provision. However, on January 19, Trump in a tweet said the bill he signed was “not the same FISA law that was so wrongly abused during the election.”
However, US House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said on Wednesday he was not surprised the FBI was objecting to the release of a memo on Justice Department (DOJ) and FBI abuses put together by Republicans on the committee.
“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.
Nunes added it is “clear” top FBI and Justice Department officials used unverified information to keep a counter-intelligence investigation going during the campaign.
He added once the American people know the truth, Congress can start taking steps to make sure intelligence agencies and courts are not misused again in a similar way.
The so-called Russiagate was triggered by US media reports citing officials about alleged meetings of the Trump campaign team members with Russian officials and businessmen prior to the 2016 vote. Both Moscow and the Trump administration have repeatedly denied the claims of any collusion.