Top Judiciary Democrat says Justice Department denied access to intel memo

The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee says the Justice Department as well as the FBI have been denied acc...

Posted: Jan 23, 2018 7:58 PM
Updated: Jan 23, 2018 7:58 PM

The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee says the Justice Department as well as the FBI have been denied access to the Republican House Intelligence Committee memo alleging FBI surveillance abuses, in the latest sign that the panel doesn't plan to share the classified memo ahead of an anticipated vote to make it public as early as next week.

Judiciary Committee top Democrat Jerry Nadler of New York said it was "profoundly unfair" that the memo on alleged FISA abuses wasn't being shared with the FBI or Justice Department, in a letter sent Tuesday to Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia.

Rep. Jerry Nadler's letter signaled a growing political fight on Capitol Hill over a memo

The memo is spearheaded by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes

Nadler's letter signaled a growing political fight on Capitol Hill over the memo spearheaded by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican. Nadler called the memo a "profoundly misleading document" and said the Judiciary Committee members should view the memo's classified source materials.

"You and I have had the opportunity to review many of the documents that the intelligence committee claims are the basis for its memo," Nadler wrote to his committee's chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia. "Those materials tell a very different story than the conspiracy theory concocted by Chairman Nunes and being repeated in the press."

An FBI spokesman told CNN on Sunday that the agency "has requested to receive a copy of the memo in order to evaluate the information and take appropriate steps if necessary" and "to date, the request has been declined." The Justice Department declined comment on the memo.

But Republicans have said that the Justice Department and FBI should not be given access, given who is involved.

"I'm not in favor of looking at DOJ or FBI weighing in -- they've been less than cooperative on a number of fronts," said Rep. Mark Meadows, the head of the House Freedom Caucus and a vocal Republican pushing for public release of the memo.

"I think given the seriousness of this one and the players, that this should go to the President first," said Rep. Mike Conaway, the Texas Republican in charge of the Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation.

Meanwhile, Republicans on the Intelligence Committee say they're anticipating a vote to override the executive branch's declassification process to release the memo - and potentially some of the intelligence materials supporting it - as early as next week when Congress returns from its one-week recess, according to several Republicans on the panel.

Last week, the committee voted along party lines to allow all House members to view the classified memo, and to date roughly 200 Republicans have done so, along with a handful of Democrats, Conaway said.

"Last count we had we're pushing 200," he said.

Under the House Intelligence Committee rules, the next step is for the panel to vote on releasing the memo. If the committee votes to do so as is expected, the memo would be sent to the President to decide whether to make it public - potentially setting up a clash between the White House and the FBI and Justice Department, which to date have not been allowed to view the Nunes document.

Republicans allege that the four-page memo, which was prepared by Nunes and Republican committee staff, reveals FBI abuses of the FISA surveillance law. CNN has reported that the document alleges that judge who signed off on FISA warrants for members of Trump's team was not given full information about the opposition research dossier on President Donald Trump and Russia, including the Democratic sources funding the research.

Democrats charge that the Nunes' memo is skewed and contains inaccuracies intended to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's team.

Nunes, Goodlatte and Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy have met to discuss what should be released publicly under the Intelligence Committee process, with many Republicans on board to move quickly to make the memo public.

One of the lingering questions for Democrats is what intelligence supporting the memo is not physically in the committee's possession. Under an agreement struck between the committee and Justice Department earlier this month, Nunes was given "access" to materials related to the dossier that he had been seeking, where the documents could be reviewed but not taken from FBI and Justice Department possession.

Rep. Chris Stewart, a Utah Republican on the Intelligence Committee, said there was some sensitive intelligence related to the memo that could not be made public, but he suggested much of it could be.

"This is by and large a law enforcement undertaking, and some of it has underpinnings in sensitive national security issues, but most of it doesn't," Stewart said. "Some of those things you won't see. The vast majority that you will."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 148387

Reported Deaths: 3769
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto9953104
Hinds9892198
Harrison7045110
Jackson6270119
Rankin5462102
Lee501095
Madison4734106
Forrest380586
Jones354888
Lauderdale3425145
Lafayette321549
Washington3161107
Lamar289250
Oktibbeha244362
Bolivar240984
Lowndes234164
Panola219850
Neshoba2196118
Marshall213850
Leflore204790
Pontotoc199228
Monroe197377
Sunflower191655
Lincoln188765
Warren175357
Tate168051
Union166025
Copiah163040
Pike161658
Yazoo154239
Scott152129
Itawamba151534
Pearl River150867
Coahoma150143
Alcorn149628
Simpson146753
Prentiss144230
Adams141150
Grenada140645
Leake133543
Holmes129961
George124524
Tippah124530
Covington122238
Winston121624
Hancock120239
Wayne117223
Marion115846
Attala112234
Tishomingo108942
Chickasaw107132
Newton104229
Tallahatchie96827
Clay90327
Clarke89353
Jasper82022
Walthall76328
Stone76114
Calhoun73913
Montgomery73625
Carroll72115
Lawrence70814
Noxubee70617
Yalobusha70627
Smith70516
Perry66126
Tunica60619
Greene60022
Claiborne58316
Jefferson Davis56517
Amite53114
Humphreys53119
Benton49117
Quitman4897
Webster43414
Kemper42518
Wilkinson39422
Jefferson34811
Franklin3365
Choctaw3237
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1144
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 242874

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31944500
Mobile19687361
Madison13065148
Tuscaloosa12983154
Montgomery12286236
Shelby1020377
Baldwin860398
Lee773566
Morgan653850
Calhoun6240119
Marshall621355
Etowah621066
Houston523038
DeKalb481336
Cullman435442
Limestone420645
St. Clair415855
Elmore404564
Lauderdale400454
Walker3634111
Talladega349054
Jackson313423
Colbert309342
Blount288840
Autauga271642
Franklin251033
Coffee242615
Dale231854
Dallas225932
Chilton221938
Russell22143
Covington218534
Escambia197931
Chambers176550
Tallapoosa175791
Pike158314
Clarke158019
Marion137936
Winston132323
Lawrence127336
Pickens122318
Geneva12138
Marengo121024
Bibb117317
Barbour117110
Butler115341
Randolph102021
Cherokee101524
Hale96131
Clay91124
Washington90919
Fayette89816
Henry8526
Lowndes79529
Monroe78711
Cleburne77114
Macon73122
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69419
Conecuh68414
Perry6846
Lamar6718
Wilcox63218
Sumter57722
Greene42418
Choctaw42113
Coosa3414
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