The Trump administration said that they would be okay to release the memorandum that allegedly proves the Obama administration used surveillance warrants to spy on members of the 2016 Trump campaign.
In fact, according to deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley, the White House does not have to approve the release of the memo assembled in the House of Representatives.
“We don’t have to approve it. They have the right to declassify the document,” deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told WMAL Wednesday.
The four-page document was assembled by Rep. Devin Nunes and claims that the Obama administration took advantage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in order to target the Trump campaign, NPR reported.
According to NPR, 200 House Republicans have read the document within a secure facility at the Capitol, and many have described its contents on Twitter and to news organizations.
Rep. Steve King said the conclusions are “worse than Watergate.”
The document “is so alarming the American people have to see this,” Rep. Jim Jordan said.
The main allegation, NPR reported, is that the Obama administration used surveillance tools against the Trump campaign and the Russia probe is a “politically motivated investigation.”
It is currently only available to members of Congress, and Republicans are looking to declassify the document so it can be released to the public.
The first step in declassification is sharing it with the other agencies that own the classified information.
“The FBI has requested to receive a copy of the memo in order to evaluate the information and take appropriate steps,” FBI spokesman Andrew Ames said. “To date, the request has been declined.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that the White House supports “full transparency, and we believe that that’s at the house Intel Committee to make that decision at this point,” The Daily Caller reported.
Democrats dismissed the memo as the most recent attack on the FBI in order to undermine the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
House Intelligence Committee Democrats said Republicans want to release the memo for the “political purpose of spreading a false narrative and undermining legitimate investigations,” according to NPR.
“The Judiciary Committee can no longer be silent while President Trump and his allies attempt to protect themselves by smearing career officials with lies and innuendo,” Rep. Jerrod Nadler said.
The investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has been repeatedly accused of bias, most recently because of the FBI misplaced a series of text messages that were pertinent to the investigation.
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