The FBI has issued a sharply worded statement on the memo written by Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee today. The statement reads:
“The FBI takes seriously its obligations to the FISA Court and its compliance with procedures overseen by career professionals in the Department of Justice and the FBI. We are committed to working with the appropriate oversight entities to ensure the continuing integrity of the FISA process.
With regard to the House Intelligence Committee’s memorandum, the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it. As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”
The FBI and Department of Justice were denied access to the memo, written by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and others, until one day before the committee voted to make it public. The committee voted, along party lines, to make the memo public on Monday. Under committee rules the president has five days to either release the memo or object to its publication. It has been reported that the president is planning on releasing it but did not want to do it prior to yesterday’s State of the Union.
The memo purportedly outlines improper behavior on the part of the FBI and DOJ in obtaining FISA warrants to spy on members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said in an interview this morning that he believes the memo will be released pretty quickly. Asked whether the memo will change anything, Kelly responded, “I’ll let all the experts decide that when it’s released. This president wants everything out so the American people can make up their own minds, and if there’s people to be held accountable then so be it.”