Democrats have been scrambling to try to prevent the memo written by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes alleging FBI abuses of surveillance laws from becoming public. But momentum to release it continues to grow. And now some of the reason that some may not want it out there has been revealed.
Ranking Democratic member on the Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has been the lead Democratic voice arguing against releasing it, said that its release would be divisive and people wouldn’t understand it.
That, of course, is pretty insulting to Americans. Basically, Congress shouldn’t be transparent because Americans are dumb.
But the real translation? “I know it’s going to make Democrats look really bad and contribute to the concern about the Obama administration spying on or trying to get the Trump team so I don’t want you to see it.”
Here’s part of what he doesn’t want you to see, that the memo discusses three notable FBI names.
From Biz Pac Review:
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and former FBI Director James Comey are specifically named in the Republican memo that claims the FBI improperly used its power under FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, to spy on President Trump’s campaign, the Daily Beast reported.
And Rosenstein and McCabe are still there, critical figures in the Russia probe and other investigations. This may explain why there was some speculation that President Donald Trump might be considering firing McCabe.
A Department of Justice official came out against the release of the memo.
The Justice Department warned Nunes Wednesday that releasing the memo would be “extraordinarily reckless” as an outcry of “Release the Memo” has gained momentum with Republicans and conservatives.
“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,” Stephen Boyd, an assistant attorney general, wrote to the California Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, according to The New York Times.
“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 HPSCI [the House intelligence committee] of the risk of harm to national security and to ongoing investigations that could come from public release,” Boyd wrote.
Now, obviously, no one wants to harm any sensitive information. But it’s done all the time by redacting that which shouldn’t get out there. And Congressional members know how to do that and understand that concern.
But it would also follow that the DOJ or the FBI who are going to earn criticism for abuse might not want facts that show that to get out there.
The Nunes memo was put together by his staff after reviewing all the evidence for months.
They denied a request by the FBI to see it while it still has to be seen in a secured room because of its classified nature. And that makes sense if it involves possible things that one might have to investigate the FBI for. And that might be another concern, one wouldn’t want to give FBI bad actors, if they exist, a heads-up as to what the Congress might have on them.
Meanwhile, Schiff, not being successful at stopping the potential release, is now trying to counter-spin by releasing a counter-memo, “setting out the relevant facts and exposing the misleading character of the Republicans’ document,” according to the Daily Beast.
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]