Shocker: Florida Republicans and Democrats disagree on the release of a GOP memo criticizing the FBI’s application for a 2016 warrant to spy on an adviser to President Donald Trump‘s campaign.
Some reactions so far:
• U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee, a member of the House Intelligence Committee: “As part of this Committee’s responsibility to conduct oversight over the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), we must ensure that individuals in the IC are not using political work product as a means to obtain warrants to conduct surveillance on American citizens. We feel that the so-called dossier was just that – a political document – and the American people need to know that. The intent of this memo is to shed light on past abuses in order to effectively prevent future abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and similar laws governing the activities of the IC. It is not, in any way, intended to influence or undermine FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.”
• President and part-time Palm Beach resident Donald Trump (from a White House pool report): “I think it’s a disgrace what’s happening in this country.. When you look at that and see that…A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves and much worse than that…So I sent it over to Congress, and they will do what they’re going to do, whatever they do is fine…It was de-classified and let’s see what happens. A lot of people should be ashamed. Thank you very much.”
• Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson: “By releasing this memo, the President of the United States is undermining the credibility of our intelligence community and serving a huge victory to Vladimir Putin, the Russian government, and many other intelligence services.”
• U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach: “This is a deliberate and desperate effort by Donald Trump and the Republicans to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia’s interference with our election and possible obstruction of justice by White House officials. Not only has the FBI expressed grave concerns about the memo’s accuracy, but Justice Department officials believe its release endangers our national security. Republican efforts hands yet another win to Vladimir Putin. The Democrat’s memo must be released so that the public can get to the truth.”
• U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach: “As the Former Vice Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I am outraged that Republicans wrote a classified memo and then voted to make it public in order to undermine the Mueller investigation. The partisan memo is rife with misrepresentations and inaccuracies, and it was released for purely political reasons against the advice of the FBI and the Justice Department. Even more shocking is the fact that House Republicans on the Committee blocked a counter-memo on the same subject from being released, preventing any refutation of their partisan smear-campaign. Their decision to politicize the intelligence and selectively release information to drive a political narrative is extraordinarily reckless, and does a grave disservice to the brave men and women in our Intelligence Community. For weeks, social media accounts linked to Russian networks have saturated the airwaves calling for a release of the memo. I am stunned that Republicans actually fell for it.”
• U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, in a joint statement with other Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee: “President Trump’s decision to allow the release of Chairman Nunes’ Republican talking points is part of a coordinated propaganda effort to discredit, disable and defeat the Russia investigation. House Republicans are now accomplices to a shocking campaign to obstruct the work of the Special Counsel, to undermine the credibility and legitimacy of the Justice Department and the FBI, and to bury the fact that a foreign adversary interfered with our last election.