The top congressional liaison at the Department of Justice wrote to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) to warn against releasing a controversial memo authored by House Intelligence Committee staffers, the Daily Beast reported Wednesday.
The DOJ letter by Stephen Boyd read, “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 HPSCI [the House intelligence committee] of the risk of harm to national security and to ongoing investigations that could come from public release.”
“Despite those warnings, the Daily Beast has learned that Hill Republicans are gearing up to use an obscure parliamentary rule known process from the House of Representatives’ rules of procedure to release the memo. Found at Rule X, subsection 11(g), it lays out a process for releasing classified material even over objections by the president of the United States,” the Beast reported.
“It is the mood of our conference, clearly, to release it,” said Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY).
“It now appears that the GOP intends to seek further dissemination of this classified information, this time to the public,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) in a statement.
Schiff is the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee and a former federal prosecutor.
Democrats have crafted their own counter-memo “setting out the relevant facts and exposing the misleading character of the Republicans’ document so that members of the House are not left with an erroneous impression of the dedicated professionals at the FBI and DOJ.”
Retired FBI counterterrorism special agent Ali Soufan blasted the GOP attacks on the bureau.
“Some of the Republicans attacking the FBI are isolating themselves from otherwise sympathetic FBI agents. It’s no secret that the FBI tends to lean conservative,” Soufan said.“The few GOP politicians attacking the FBI are, frankly, demagogues. They’re putting party and self-interest above country. They are damaging national security. They unfortunately gave up any moral authority.”