P. 12

              Thursday 1 February 2018
            FBI says it has “grave concerns” over release of Russia memo

            By  CHAD  DAY,  JONATHAN                                                                                            sure our intelligence agen-
            LEMIRE and ERIC TUCKER                                                                                              cies  and  courts  are  never
             Associated Press                                                                                                   misused like this again.”
            WASHINGTON  (AP)  —  The                                                                                            Trump was overheard Tues-
            FBI  said  Wednesday  it  has                                                                                       day night telling a Republi-
            “grave  concerns”  about                                                                                            can lawmaker he was “100
            the  accuracy  of  a  classi-                                                                                       percent” in favor of releas-
            fied  memo  on  the  Russia                                                                                         ing the memo, and his chief
            investigation that President                                                                                        of  staff  said  Wednesday
            Donald Trump wants to re-                                                                                           the document is likely to be
            lease  to  the  public.  It  was                                                                                    released “pretty quick.”
            the first time the bureau has                                                                                       The  encounter  on  the
            weighed  in  publicly  on  an                                                                                       House  floor  with  South
            issue that has openly divid-                                                                                        Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan
            ed the Justice Department                                                                                           was captured by television
            and the White House.                                                                                                cameras after the State of
            In  its  unusual  public  state-                                                                                    the  Union  address.  When
            ment,  the  FBI  said  it  was                                                                                      Duncan  implored  him  to
            given only a limited oppor-                                                                                         “release the memo,” Trump
            tunity  to  review  the  four-                                                                                      said: “Oh yeah, don’t wor-
            page  memo,  which  was                                                                                             ry. 100 percent.”
            drafted  by  Republicans                                                                                            White House spokeswoman
            on  the  House  intelligence                                                                                        Sarah  Huckabee  Sanders
            committee  led  by  Rep.     House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., a close ally of President Donald   told CNN Wednesday that
            Devin Nunes of California.   Trump who has become a fierce critic of the FBI and the Justice Department, strides to a GOP   a legal and national secu-
            Republicans have said the    conference at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018.                       rity review of the document
                                                                                                               Associated Press  was continuing. Trump had
                                                                                                   memo  reveals  improper  not read the memo as “as
                                                                                                   use  of  surveillance  by  the  of last night prior to and im-
                                                                                                   FBI and the Justice Depart-  mediately after the State of
                                                                                                   ment  in  the  Russia  inves-  the Union,” she said.
                                                                                                   tigation.  But  the  FBI  said  White House Chief of Staff
                                                                                                   Wednesday that important  John Kelly said Wednesday
                                                                                                   facts were omitted.          on Fox News Radio that he
                                                                                                   “As  expressed  during  our  expected the memo to be
                                                                                                   initial  review,  we  have  released “pretty quick.”
                                                                                                   grave concerns about ma-     According to Republicans,
                                                                                                   terial omissions of fact that  the  memo  alleges  surveil-
                                                                                                   fundamentally  impact  the  lance  misconduct  in  the
                                                                                                   memo’s accuracy,” the FBI  early stages of the FBI’s in-
                                                                                                   said.                        vestigation  into  potential
                                                                                                   The  statement  escalates  Trump  campaign  ties  to
                                                                                                   the  intra-government  con-  Russia.
                                                                                                   flict over the memo, which  But Democrats have called
                                                                                                   had already touched off a  the  memo  a  “cherry-
                                                                                                   partisan brawl with Demo-    picked” list of GOP talking
                                                                                                   crats  and  has  pitted  GOP  points that attempts to dis-
                                                                                                   lawmakers  ordinarily  sup-  tract from the committee’s
                                                                                                   portive   of   surveillance  own investigation into Rus-
                                                                                                   against  the  FBI  and  the  sian  meddling  in  the  elec-
                                                                                                   Justice  Department.  The  tion that sent Trump to the
                                                                                                   FBI director and the deputy  White House.
                                                                                                   attorney general have told  Trump  has  been  telling
                                                                                                   the  White  House  releasing  confidants  in  recent  days
                                                                                                   it  could  set  a  dangerous  that he believes the memo
                                                                                                   precedent.                   will  validate  his  concerns
                                                                                                   On Wednesday afternoon,  that the FBI and Justice De-
                                                                                                   Nunes,   the   Republican  partment  had  conspired
                                                                                                   chairman  of  the  commit-   against  him,  according  to
                                                                                                   tee, escalated the conflict  one  outside  adviser  famil-
                                                                                                   over  the  memo,  calling  iar  with  those  conversa-
                                                                                                   the FBI and Justice Depart-  tions but not authorized to
                                                                                                   ment objections “spurious.”  speak  publicly  about  pri-
                                                                                                   “It’s clear that top officials  vate discussions.
                                                                                                   used  unverified  informa-   The president has told allies
                                                                                                   tion in a court document to  that he believes the memo
                                                                                                   fuel  a  counter-intelligence  bolsters  his  belief  that  ac-
                                                                                                   investigation   during   an  cusations  of  collusion  be-
                                                                                                   American  political  cam-    tween  his  campaign  and
                                                                                                   paign,” Nunes said. “Once  Russian  officials  are  false
                                                                                                   the truth gets out, we can  and part of a conspiracy to
                                                                                                   begin  taking  steps  to  en-  discredit his election.q
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