US House Intel Committee Will Release FBI Anti-Trump Memo
AP Photo/ Pablo Martinez MonsivaisUS02:26 30.01.2018(updated 03:10 30.01.2018) Get short URL240
Late Monday evening the United States House Intelligence Committee voted in favor of releasing a memo by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes that allegedly shows how the FBI abused its powers and demonstrated bias during its investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.
US President Donald Trump had called for the memo to be declassified. “Today this committee voted to put the president’s personal interest, perhaps their own political interest, above the national interest,” Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) told reporters after the announcement.
The memo purports to show that the FBI has a clear anti-Trump bias. When the US Justice Department urged lawmakers last week not to release the memo while Trump was in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, the president fumed in anger, Bloomberg reported.
The Justice Department warned that revealing the memo might give away “sources and methods” used by the US to collect classified information. “Usually it’s about keeping the American public in the dark, and not about protect the US or the American public from foreign enemies as is the claim… those who don’t want it out, don’t want it out because it will hurt them politically, not because it has any particular national security significance,” professor Dan Kovalik of the University of Pittsburg School of Law told Sputnik Radio’s Loud & Clear on Monday.
Some reports indicate the memo shows that the FBI used the inflammatory and almost-entirely unverified dossier compiled by Christopher Steele as a basis for expanding surveillance against targets related to Trump under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
Now that the committee voted to make the memo public, Trump has five days to formally decide whether it should be made public.
The House committee conducted a separate vote in which it was decided a Democrat-composed memo countering Nunes’ memo would not be released.
As recently as January 23, Trump tweeted, “Where are the 50,000 important text messages between FBI lovers Lisa Page and Peter Strzok?” Both worked for Robert Mueller’s special counsel probe, which is investigating claims of collusion with Russia, at one point, and also reportedly engaged in an extramarital affair.
Strozk was also part of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 election. Conservatives have argued Strozk’s anti-Trump bias, highlighted in text conversations, shows the FBI probe into Clinton was corrupt on some level, an argument that dates back to when Bill Clinton met with then-US Attorney General Loretta Lynch on a tarmac in Arizona. As head of the Justice Department, Lynch technically oversaw the FBI probe into Clinton’s servers. The secret tarmac meeting created a perception that the DOJ’s case against Clinton was never going to go very far.