Federal Bureau of Investigation raises 'grave concerns' about GOP intelligence memo, warns against its release

Aaron Brown
February 2, 2018

What's more, Nunes might have consulted - indeed, colluded - with the White House in drafting the memo.

Democratic suspicions that Nunes has coordinated with the White House stem from a year ago, when he took a secret trip to the White House to review intelligence gathered by two White House staffers about the "unmasking" of Trump's team in foreign intelligence collected during the Obama administration.

Nunes has sought the White House's approval to release the memo because it refers to or contains classified information.

For now, the memo remains classified. Republican members have said that Wray did not raise any objections about inaccuracies at the time.

Quigley said there was precedent for questioning Nunes' contacts with the White House.

In response, Kelly told Rosenstein and Wray that the president was still inclined to release the memo but the White House would go through a review led by the National Security Council and the White House Counsel's Office, a senior administration official said.

It is clear, he continued, that "top officials used unverified information in a court document to fuel a counter-intelligence investigation during an American political campaign".

Well, it's "known" as the "midnight run" because Schiff mischaracterized it as Nunes sneaking into the White House in the "dead of night" to avoid detection. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found 83 per cent of Republicans say the Russian Federation investigation is a "witch hunt" against the president, while just 12 per cent say it's legitimate. Democrats have called it a "cherry-picked" group of GOP talking points.

Nunes and the committee's Democrats clashed over whether there was a formal committee investigation of the Justice Department and FBI, and both Rep. Mike Quigley of IL and Schiff demanded to know why Democrats were not informed about the investigation.

The memo suggests that Steele, the author of a now-famous dossier alleging Trump has ties to Russian officials, provided bad information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation - although people familiar with it say the memo does not conclude whether Steele intentionally passed along suspect information or simply made a mistake. They say it shows corruption in the FBI that is "worse than Watergate", proving that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is based on a fraud.

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The move sets up an ugly clash with the President who wants it released. "Will the president now use it to mislead the country?"

The Republicans have said the memo reveals surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department in the early stages of the investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

"We have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impacts the memo's accuracy", the bureau said.

The memos are a major component of an increasingly bitter dispute between Republicans and Democrats over investigations of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election and whether Trump's associates colluded with Moscow. The FBI earlier Wednesday essentially accused him of spreading false information.

Schiff spoke at an event sponsored by the news site Axios.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, seen here on January 9, 2018, opposes release of a memo by Rep. Devin Nunes.

Trump has up to five days to object to the memo's release. They wanted the Justice Department to investigate whether the sale benefited major donors to the Clinton Foundation, raising conflict-of-interest questions.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNN Wednesday that a legal and national security review of the document was continuing.

The Washington Post story came out just before Trump was heard on an open mic after his State of the Union address Tuesday evening saying he's "100 percent" behind making the memo public. Television cameras captured the exchange as Trump was leaving the House chamber.

The Justice Department sent a letter to Nunes last week calling the potential release of the memo "extremely reckless".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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