Former Sen. Mike Gravel, the Democratic Senator who released the Pentagon Papers, on Monday taunted Republicans’ public back-and-forth surrounding the release of Devin Nunes’ controversial FISA memo, arguing the GOP are cowards if they don’t publicize the report.
Gravel was discussing the Nunes memo, which House Intelligence Committee Republicans on Monday voted to release (against the recommendations of House Democrats and the Department of Justice). The House vote triggered a five-day waiting period during which Donald Trump can move to block the release of the memo. Gravel said Republicans would show “the height of cowardice” if they fail to do so after hyping the memo for weeks.
“For the Congress to be a bunch of wimps and cowards and defer to the executive branch because they don’t want to take any responsibility is the height of cowardice,” he said, according to the Washington Examiner.
“The criteria for releasing anything is this: Is this something the people should know?” Gravel said. “If the Republicans feel this should be made public for the benefit of their constituents, fine, release it. The Democrats should do the same. But there is no argument to be made this stuff is secret and it’s too important for the people to know,” Gravel said.
“All this brouhaha between the executive and the legislative is ridiculous,” Gravel continued. “It’s all because these people don’t understand their responsibility under the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause. There is no legal risk on their part for releasing information they feel the public should know. No risk. Period.”