Members of the House on Thursday said they viewed a “shocking” classified memo allegedly detailing abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by senior Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigations officials in relation to the investigation of the Trump campaign and called for it to be declassified and available to the public immediately.
By Kristina Wong
“It’s troubling. It is shocking,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) told Fox News. “Part of me wishes that I didn’t read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.”
“The facts contained in this memo are jaw-dropping and demand full transparency. There is no higher priority than the release of this information to preserve our democracy,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a member of the Judiciary Committee, which oversees the DOJ and the FBI.
Another Judiciary Committee member, Rep. Steve King (R-IA), called what he saw in the memo “sickening” and said it was “worse than Watergate.”
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), another Judiciary Committee member, called the memo “deeply troubling” and said it raises questions about the “Obama DOJ and Comey FBI.”
“The classified report compiled by House Intelligence is deeply troubling and raises serious questions about the upper echelon of the Obama DOJ and Comey FBI as it relates to the so-called collusion investigation,” he tweeted.
“You think about, ‘is this happening in America or is this the KGB?’ That’s how alarming it is,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) told Fox News.
“It is so alarming the American people have to see this,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, also said to network.
The viewing of the memo came after all Republican members of the House intelligence committee, whose investigators compiled the classified memo, voted Thursday to make it available to all House members. Every Democrat on the committee voted against it.
According to Gaetz, the memo’s contents could lead to the firing — and perhaps even jailing — of senior DOJ and FBI officials.
“I think that this will not end just with firings. I believe there are people who will go to jail,” he said on Fox News’ Hannity.
He said what he saw in the memo also explains why Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Judiciary Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) recently referred the Fusion GPS dossier author Christopher Steele for a criminal investigation.
“I think there will be criminal implications here,” Gaetz added.
The memo also reportedly contains information about the dossier put together by Fusion GPS that alleged Trump and members of his team colluded with Russians in the 2016 election, according to a report by investigative journalist Sara Carter.
It was revealed in October that the dossier was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Despite being a political document, the dossier was reportedly part of the evidence FBI officials used to apply for and obtain a warrant through a secret FISA court to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Page told Breitbart News in a statement: “After over a year of inciting discord and threats of violence across America, it’s encouraging that the individuals in Washington responsible for these efforts to undermine our great democracy may be held accountable soon.”
Breitbart News reported on March 3, 2017, that the Obama administration took steps to undermine Trump’s presidential campaign using “police state” tactics, including spying on the Trump campaign. That report is widely believed to have led to President Trump’s tweet that later accused the Obama administration of wiretapping Trump Tower.
Members of the public and Congress are now calling for the document to be declassified and released to the public.
DeSantis said the House intelligence committee, pursuant to House rules, should vote to make the report publicly available as soon as possible.
“While the report is classified as Top Secret, I believe the select committee should, pursuant to House rules, vote to make the report publicly available as soon as possible. This is a matter of national significance and the American people deserve the truth,” he said.
“Rule X of the House Rules allows the select committee to publicly disclose any information in its possession after a determination by the select committee that the public interest would be served by such disclosure.”
According to House Rules, if the House intelligence committee votes to make the report public, President Trump would have five days to issue an objection. If he objected, it would take a vote on the House floor.