The President is expected to allow the release of the controversial Nunes memo in full, which he says provides evidence of FBI and Justice Department bias against him.

By Joe McDonough


Posted on February 2, 2018

The Republican-drafted memo will be declassified and released on Friday, according to a senior White House official, as Donald Trump aims to expose bias against him from top-ranking FBI agents.

The GOP memo, which was compiled by aides for House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, is believed to allege that the FBI misled a judge in March last year in order to secure an extension to a surveillance warrant against Carter Page, who was a foreign policy advisor to Trump during his election campaign.

It is understood the Republican Party is arguing that the FBI and Justice Department failed to disclose that a dirt-digging dossier compiled by a former British spy and used to sway the judge to approve the warrant, was partly financed by the Democratic National Committee.

Ultimately, it is Trump’s hope that the memo’s release will throw enough doubt on the impartiality of the intelligence agency that the federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia, will be discontinued.

He could potentially use it as an excuse to fire Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who hired federal prosecutor Robert Mueller III, or even Mueller himself.

But recently appointed FBI director Christopher Wray, whom Trump cherry-picked, has emerged as an unlikely challenger.

Under his leadership, the bureau issued a statement saying, “we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy”. The Justice Department also warned against its release, calling the action “extraordinarily reckless”.

However, it is likely that Trump won’t request any material be redacted.

“I think it will be that we tell the Congress, probably tomorrow, that the President is OK with it,” the White House source said.

“I doubt there will be any redactions… Then it is in Congress’ hands after that.”

But national security is being questioned, with Senator John Thune of South Dakota urging for a delay in its release until he and his colleagues can see it.

“They need to pay careful attention to what our folks who protect us have to say about what this, you know, how this bears on our national security,” he said.

Reuters suggests the release could also weaken long-standing cooperation between lawmakers and intelligence agencies, which have shared classified information with Congress with the understanding that it would never be made public.