US: FBI warns against release of House Republican memo

US: FBI warns against release of House Republican memo

National law enforcement agency has 'grave concerns' about document's 'omissions

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - The FBI on Wednesday warned against the release of a controversial Republican dicument that is critical of the bureau's surveillance practices, saying it omits vital information.

"With regard to the House Intelligence Committee’s memorandum, the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it," the bureau said in an exceptionally rare statement on policy. "As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy."

Nearly all of the bureau's public releases deal with law enforcement matters, such as crime statistics and case developments.

The unusual declaration is at odds with President Donald Trump who shortly after his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night was overheard telling a Republican lawmaker he will "100 percent" release the memo.

"Can you imagine?" he asked, apparently rhetorically.

The House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines Monday to release the classified document Republicans say details the FBI's and Justice Department's improper surveillance activities in the investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Tuesday he favors the memo's release, arguing "there are legitimate questions about whether an American's civil liberties were violated by the FISA process.

"There may have been malfeasance by people at the FBI," Ryan said while maintaining the memo should not be used to undercut Special Council Robert Mueller's probe into Russia and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the effort.

The FBI, meanwhile, is adamant it has complied with all applicable laws regarding its surveillance activities.

"The FBI takes seriously its obligations to the FISA Court and its compliance with procedures overseen by career professionals in the Department of Justice and the FBI. We are committed to working with the appropriate oversight entities to ensure the continuing integrity of the FISA process," the bureau said in its statement.

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