Republican lawmakers demand the public release of a classified memo detailing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses under the Obama administration. The move comes as lawmakers reauthorized government surveillance powers.
The House Intelligence Committee passed the motion introduced by Rep. Peter King (R-New York) Thursday. The measure was voted on along party lines, with all Democrats voting against the motion to make the classified report available to all House members.
“I viewed the classified report from House Intel relating to the FBI, FISA abuses, the infamous Russian dossier, and so-called ‘Russian collusion.’ What I saw is absolutely shocking. This report needs to be released –– now. Americans deserve the truth. #ReleaseTheMemo,” Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina said Thursday night about the 4-page memo, reported New York Daily News.
Congressman Meadows was joined by other lawmakers who saw the memo, and who are pressing for its public release. The hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo has gone viral on social media.
Intercept journalist Glen Greenwald weighed in to tell conservatives they were falling for a fraud.
Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz believed people could lose their jobs after the memo is released.
“I believe the consequence of its release will be major changes in people currently working at the FBI and the Department of Justice,” said Gaetz, as quoted by Fox News.
Weighing in was lone Democrat Representative Adam Schiff (California), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, called the report “a profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI and its handling of the investigation.”
“Rife with factual inaccuracies and referencing highly classified materials that most Republican Intelligence Committee members were forced to acknowledge they had never read, this is meant only to give Republican House members a distorted view of the FBI,” Schiff said, according to The Hill.“This may help carry White House water, but it is a deep disservice to our law enforcement professionals.”
House Oversight Committee member, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told Fox News it should be released because it doesn’t reveal sources or methods and that it shows “how this whole collision thing was going on during the campaign.”
Florida Republican Rep. Ron Desantis called the memo “deeply troubling” in interviews on Fox News.
The House vote came the same day the Senate voted 65-34 to reauthorize a FISA provision that allows US spy agencies to conduct surveillance on foreign targets abroad for six years. The bill, already passed by the House, is now heading to the White House where President Donald Trump has said he will sign it into law.
An irony not lost on whistleblower and former NSA intelligence analyst, Edward Snowden
“If this memo had been known prior to the vote, FISA reauth would have failed. These abuses must be made public, and @realDonaldTrump should send the bill back with a veto,” Snowden said in a tweet Friday.