NOTE: The following article has been updated to more accurately reflect the Justice Department’s overall position on the FISA memo and the agency’s desire for the FBI to review its contents. In relation to the information laid out in the memo, ABC News reported, “the department said certain allegations of impropriety are completely unfounded.” However, after reading the leaked letter obtained by The Atlantic’s Natasha Bertrand, nowhere does the Justice Department’s Stephen Boyd directly state allegations in the memo are unfounded, rather the Trump appointee says the agency is “unaware” of any wrongdoing related to the document. ABC News’ story did not include the letter and appears to have editorialized Boyd’s statement on the veracity of the memo.
JUST IN: DOJ's Stephen Boyd has sent a letter to @DevinNunes saying release of *the memo* without review by DOJ/FBI would be "extraordinarily reckless." Says the memo purports to be based on "classified source materials that neither you nor most of" the committee "have seen." pic.twitter.com/F0pmL34vhk
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) January 24, 2018
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The Sessions Justice Department is calling on House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) to allow the FBI to review the “shocking,” FISA abuse memo to ensure its release will not harm national security.
ABC News reports:
The Justice Department is urging the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, whose staff has compiled a secret memorandum purporting to show “shocking” political bias within the FBI, to give the department a chance to see the memo and warning that first sharing information from the memo with reporters would be “unprecedented” and dangerous.
Furthermore, the department said certain allegations of impropriety are completely unfounded.
“We believe 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 [committee] of the risk of harm to national security and to ongoing investigations that could come from the public release,” a top Justice Department official wrote in a letter today to Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California. “Indeed, 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.”
While on the face on it, the Justice Department’s request is both logical and prudent. However, once in possession of the memo, which is likely to expose the role of top level FBI and Justice Department officials in using the Steele dossier to obtain FISA spy warrants, what do you think bureau officials will do? Wage a fierce PR campaign against it and the Republican lawmakers who demand the memo to be released.
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Least we forget, during an appearance on CNN‘s morning show “New Day” Friday, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) told host Chris Cuomo that the “essence” of the “shocking,” FISA abuse memo centers around whether or not the FBI and Justice Department provided false information to the FISA court for the purpose of obtaining spy warrants.
According to the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) huddled together Saturday to discuss a “never-before-used procedure” for releasing the “shocking” FISA abuse memo.
After millions of Americans called on Congress to release the memo, Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) announced Saturday that the process has begun.
Great news! Our efforts to #ReleaseTheMemo have been effective and the HPSIC plans to begin the process to release the FBI/FISA/Russia memo. This may take up to 19+ Congressional work days but Americans deserve to know the truth.
— Dave Joyce (@RepDaveJoyce) January 20, 2018