Trump Wants Memo Released After Speech: Report

 Gabrielle Levy
  31st-Jan-2018

President Donald Trump reportedly wants a Republican memo alleging abuse within the FBI released as soon as possible after his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

CNN reported that the president favors release of the four-page document, which he has five days to consider, fter members of the House intelligence committee voted along party lines to approve it over the objections of the Justice Department.

The development comes after House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Tuesday that he supports the release of the memo, adding that he believed it advanced Congress' responsibility to "conduct transparent oversight and get to the bottom" of possible "malfeasance at the FBI by certain individuals."

"There is a very legitimate issue here as to whether or not an American's civil liberties were violated in the FISA process," he said, referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Some Republicans who have viewed the memo say it contains evidence of widespread abuse within the FBI, including the assertion that the agency abused its authority under FISA to seek a warrant targeting former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

The document was delivered to the White House on Monday night, and the White House has signaled that Trump wants to make the document public and supports "full transparency."

"We want to make sure we do it the right way and that's where we are right now," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told "Fox and Friends" on Tuesday.

But Justice Department Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter last week to the memo's author, House intelligence committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., warning that releasing the memo would be "extraordinarily reckless."

The Associated Press reported that Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, said FBI Director Christopher Wray raised concerns to him about the memo's release after viewing it and that Republicans blocked Wray's request to brief the committee before they voted.

Democrats also accuse Nunes and other Republicans of trying to protect Trump by undermining the credibility of the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. They have prepared their own document that they say demonstrates that Nunes' memo constructs a false narrative based on underlying classified information that is not being released. The Intelligence committee on Monday voted to allow the Democrats' memo be made available to House members but not the public.

Pressed Tuesday why he did not support holding back the Republicans' memo until the Democrats' could be simultaneously unveiled, Ryan said it must go through a review process to ensure its release would not reveal sources and methods that could endanger intelligence operations.

He also denied that that memo was an effort to undermine special counsel Mueller's investigation.

"I think because of all the loose political rhetoric floating around here, we need to make sure we explain that there is a separation between these things," he said.

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