Dozens of top lawmakers signed a letter Friday urging House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) to publicly release a bombshell memo they say contains details about government surveillance abuses.
Led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), 65 Republican lawmakers co-signed a letter to Nunes calling for the “immediate” release of the four-page memo.
“After reading the document, we were shocked and frustrated, but it has deepened our belief in the vital importance of transparency,” Gaetz wrote, adding:
This important memo will be of interest to anyone who cares about America and our democratic system of government. We are writing to request the immediate release of this document to the public, as well as any relevant ancillary information. The audience of this document should not be limited to Members of Congress — the American people deserve to know the information it contains.
Since Thursday, a multitude of GOP lawmakers have publicly sounded the alarm about the memo, which they say details extensive surveillance abuses by the Obama administration. Lawmakers have said the memo proves the Obama administration unlawfully spied on the Trump campaign, the Trump transition and other Americans.
The memo is so “explosive” that sources who spoke with journalist Sara Carter said they “they would not be surprised if it leads to the end of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation into President Trump and his associates.” It could also lead to the removal of senior officials in the FBI and Department of Justice, Carter reported.
The memo was released to the entire House on Thursday. According to the Daily Caller, more than 100 House members had visited a classified facility to view the document. Notably, no Democrats had viewed it.
Will the document be released to the public?
Right now, it’s uncertain, though the outcry from House Republicans certainly helps the chances. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) explained on Fox News Thursday that before the classified document can be released, it will need the approval of the House Intelligence Committee and President Donald Trump.
What have Democrats said?
Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, has denounced the document as 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 of 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,” he said in a statement.