GOP Reps Demand Immediate Release of 'Shocking,' 'Troubling' Memo on FISA Abuses
Republican congressmen are calling for the immediate public release of a four-page memo that reveals what they call “shocking,” “troubling” and “alarming,” government surveillance abuses under President Obama. One congressman even likened the details of the memo currently circulating in Congress to "KGB activity in Russia."
The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released the memo on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses to all House members after approving Rep. Pete King's (R-N.Y.) motion to do so. The vote on releasing the memo to Congress was — not surprisingly — along party lines, with Democrats voting against transparency.
“We have concerns — FISA concerns — that all members of the body should know,” Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), a member of the committee, told reporters following the vote.
“It is so alarming the American people have to see this,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Fox News.
“It's troubling. It is shocking,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said. “Part of me wishes that I didn't read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.”
“You think about, ‘is this happening in America or is this the KGB?’ That's how alarming it is,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) said.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) predicted that people will lose their jobs if the memo is released.
“I believe the consequence of its release will be major changes in people currently working at the FBI and Department of Justice,” he said. According to Fox News, Gaetz was "referencing DOJ officials Rod Rosenstein and Bruce Ohr" with that statement.
"If the American people knew what was happening — if they saw the contents of this memo — a lot would become clear about the information that I've been talking about on television for the last several months," Gaetz told Fox Business Thursday afternoon.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) said on Twitter that the matter was of "national significance" and that the House should "vote to make the report publicly available as soon as possible."
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) concurred:
The process for releasing the four-page memo to the public involves a committee vote, according to Fox News:
If approved, it could be released as long as there are no objections from the White House within five days.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told Fox News in December that his investigators have already uncovered evidence of abuse in the U.S. government's surveillance practices.
“I believe there's evidence that abuses have occurred," Nunes said at the time.
Nunes pointed to the leaked conversation of former national security adviser, Gen. Mike Flynn with the Russian ambassador.
On Thursday, the Senate voted 65-34 to reauthorize a FISA provision that allows U.S. spy agencies to conduct surveillance on foreign targets abroad for six years. The bill, which already has been passed by the House, now heads to the White House,where President Donald Trump has said he will sign it into law.
What remains a mystery is WHY he would sign it into law after it was allegedly so shockingly abused and WHY it passed the House without the Nunes or Amash amendments to safeguard the American people's privacy.