Democrats respond to memo release, calling it 'dangerous'

With the approval of President Donald Trump, House Republicans have released a disputed GOP intelligence memo that al...

Posted: Feb 3, 2018 11:54 AM
Updated: Feb 3, 2018 11:54 AM

With the approval of President Donald Trump, House Republicans have released a disputed GOP intelligence memo that alleges FBI abuses of its surveillance authority -- and Democratic members of Congress are fuming.

The memo, from the GOP and led by House Intelligence Committee's chairman, Devin Nunes, alleges that then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the committee that no surveillance warrant would have been sought for a Trump campaign aide without the opposition research dossier on Trump written by ex-British intelligence office Christopher Steele.

Democrats -- and a few Republicans -- shared their disapproval of the release of the document, which most of them initially called a "dangerous" move.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, slammed the release of the memo, saying it was "reckless and demonstrates an astonishing disregard for the truth."

"This will make it far more difficult for the Intelligence Committees to conduct meaningful, bipartisan oversight of intelligence activities in the future," he said in a statement. "This action was also taken without regard to the damage it could do to our ability to protect Americans from threats around the globe."

"Law enforcement opposes this," tweeted Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat. "The intelligence community opposes this. Even many Republicans oppose this. This is dangerous territory, it disrespects law enforcement, and it's an alarming partisan attack on efforts to investigate hostile foreign interference in our democracy."

Their colleague, Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, also criticized the release of the memo, echoing that it's "dangerous."

She tweeted, ".@realDonaldTrump's decision to declassify the partisan memo, made in cooperation w/ Congressional Republicans, is a dangerous attack on our justice system and the rule of law."

Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon called the memo "cherry-picked classified information" in a statement.

"This puts us in extremely dangerous territory," he said. "It upends the relationship between the intelligence community and Congress, threatening the ability for different branches of government to work together to protect the American people's safety."

And it wasn't just Democratic senators who slammed the decision to release the memo. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said the memo should have been further reviewed because of its "implications for our national security."

"Oversight of the intelligence community, the FISA process, and this investigation are far too important to be tarnished by partisanship," she said in a statement. "When the Senate Intelligence Committee released a controversial report some years ago, we spent months meeting with the intelligence community to redact sensitive information ... This model of bipartisanship and careful vetting would have been a far better way to proceed."

The divide in responses

House Republicans praised Trump for deciding to release the memo, arguing it revealed problems with US surveillance.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement he was "glad" the memo helps "provide greater transparency."

"Unlike most judicial proceedings, the FISA system depends not on an adversarial process, but instead on the government providing a complete presentation of the facts and circumstances underlying its warrant applications," he said in a statement. "It is clear from this memo that didn't happen in this case, and as a consequence an American's civil liberties may have been violated."

He also said again he supports Democrats releasing their own memo, which charges that the Nunes memo is an attempt to help the White House with the Russia investigation. It argues that proper procedures were followed in obtaining FISA warrants.

"I reiterate my support for the similar release of the minority's memo once it is properly scrubbed of all intelligence sources and methods," he said.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, who announced his retirement from Congress earlier this week and serves on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the public should know the the facts behind the creation of the dossier.

"While this memo raises serious concerns with the FISA process, I have been and remain confident in the overwhelming majority of the men and women serving at the FBI and DOJ," he said on Twitter. "As I have said repeatedly, I also remain 100 percent confident in Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The contents of this memo do not -- in any way -- discredit his investigation."

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz commended the release of the memo, saying in a statement it should "cause all American citizens to be outraged, regardless of political affiliation."

"I read the memo as soon as it was released to Members of Congress, and my heart sank," he continued. "Not only did it lay bare a systemic pattern of abuse within the FBI and the DOJ, it confirmed my worst fear: America's free and fair elections were being threatened from within."

Iowa Rep. Steve King said in a statement that the memo proves that under the Obama administration, the FBI and the Department of Justice were "weaponized" against political opponents.

"The memo now commands FISA Warrant requests be released to Congress," he said in his statement. "The statement that the FBI & the DOJ were 'weaponized' holds up pretty well."

Meanwhile, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr declined to comment on the release of the memo.

"Sen. Burr won't have comment on the memo. The Committee's own investigation remains ongoing," a spokesman for Burr told CNN.

This story has been updated.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 259117

Reported Deaths: 5668
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17436187
Hinds16524328
Harrison13876199
Rankin11000217
Jackson10652187
Lee8981141
Madison8413168
Jones6552112
Forrest6101121
Lauderdale6034189
Lowndes5463119
Lafayette507393
Lamar496465
Washington4877124
Bolivar4068109
Oktibbeha401681
Panola378380
Pontotoc372155
Monroe3628105
Warren3619101
Union350563
Marshall349569
Neshoba3433152
Pearl River3380104
Leflore3079108
Lincoln300687
Sunflower289272
Hancock285360
Tate276762
Alcorn268854
Pike266580
Itawamba266261
Scott253448
Yazoo250156
Prentiss249552
Tippah245850
Copiah244549
Coahoma243654
Simpson240069
Leake234367
Grenada221171
Marion218473
Covington216972
Adams210170
Wayne206432
Winston205267
George202739
Attala195761
Newton195745
Tishomingo192461
Chickasaw186144
Jasper176038
Holmes169868
Clay162735
Tallahatchie154935
Stone148424
Clarke143562
Calhoun138021
Smith125825
Yalobusha120234
Walthall113437
Greene112129
Noxubee111425
Montgomery110936
Carroll105922
Lawrence104317
Perry103231
Amite99926
Webster94324
Tunica87621
Jefferson Davis87327
Claiborne86825
Benton84023
Humphreys83624
Kemper79120
Quitman7029
Franklin68716
Choctaw62313
Wilkinson58825
Jefferson55920
Sharkey44217
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 432536

Reported Deaths: 6379
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63523957
Mobile30967562
Madison27627201
Tuscaloosa21122268
Montgomery19495326
Shelby18941126
Baldwin16798188
Lee12901102
Morgan12447129
Etowah11911178
Calhoun11365205
Marshall10322119
Houston8813156
Limestone823176
Cullman8159106
Elmore8056104
DeKalb7796102
Lauderdale773399
St. Clair7705122
Talladega6347109
Walker5993174
Jackson590341
Colbert543274
Blount541186
Autauga527061
Coffee454160
Dale405482
Franklin371948
Russell345712
Chilton340972
Covington334168
Escambia328344
Dallas310196
Chambers297370
Clarke290536
Tallapoosa2665107
Pike258830
Marion250155
Lawrence249150
Winston231442
Bibb219848
Geneva206946
Marengo205229
Pickens198631
Hale180842
Barbour177836
Fayette174528
Butler171358
Cherokee162530
Henry157523
Monroe150718
Randolph143236
Washington139527
Clay128546
Crenshaw121644
Cleburne119724
Lamar119621
Macon119637
Lowndes112536
Wilcox105822
Bullock101428
Perry99118
Conecuh96320
Sumter89726
Greene76723
Coosa62215
Choctaw51624
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