Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, ripped a decision by Republicans to release a sensitive memo authored by Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House intelligence panel.
The FBI declared Wednesday it has “grave concerns” about the accuracy of the classified memo on the Russia election investigation. President Donald Trump has indicated he wants the memo released and may act on the matter by Friday.
The House Intelligence Committee this week voted to release the GOP memo, which alleges then DOJ improperly monitored the Trump campaign in 2016. Trump would have to approve release of the document.
“Republicans are rushing to release the Nunes Memo to undermine the rule of law and interfere with the Russia investigation,” Heinrich said in a statement this morning. “The revelations last night that Republicans tampered with the classified memo are especially concerning and show just how desperate they are to mislead the public and obstruct Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.
“President Trump and House Republicans seem hell-bent on discrediting the work of the intelligence community, FBI and Department of Justice,” Heinrich continued. “It is the height of irresponsibility for members of Congress and the President to put partisan interests ahead of national security concerns.”
The FBI statement on the memo this week said: “As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”
According to the Associated Press:
Further complicating the memo’s release, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee said late Wednesday that his committee’s vote to release the memo was now invalid because it was “secretly altered” by Republicans who wrote it. California Rep. Adam Schiff said in a letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes that committee Democrats had discovered changes that were made after the panel voted Monday to send it to Trump for review.
Schiff called for Nunes to withdraw the memo from the White House and for the committee to hold a new vote next Monday.
The memo is part of an effort to reveal what Republicans say are surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department in the early stages of the investigation into potential ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.