See also: Democratic Response Memo
(Released Feb. 24, 2018)

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
9:40 AM - 3 Feb 2018
This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!

HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes
February 2, 2018

Nunes Statement on Release of HPSCI Memo

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence today made public a committee memo with information on abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Chairman Nunes issued the following statement:

“The Committee has discovered serious violations of the public trust, and the American people have a right to know when officials in crucial institutions are abusing their authority for political purposes. Our intelligence and law enforcement agencies exist to defend the American people, not to be exploited to target one group on behalf of another. It is my hope that the Committee’s actions will shine a light on this alarming series of events so we can make reforms that allow the American people to have full faith and confidence in their governing institutions.” 

The memo is available here and here. Key points are here, a charge and response is here, and a summary of FISA Title I is here.

The White House
February 2, 2018

Office of the Press Secretary
February 2, 2018

Statement from the Press Secretary

Earlier today, President Donald J. Trump declassified a memorandum from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The memorandum raises serious concerns about the integrity of decisions made at the highest levels of the Department of Justice and the FBI to use the Government’s most intrusive surveillance tools against American citizens.
This decision was made with input from the President’s national security team—including law enforcement officials and members of the intelligence community, for whom the President has great respect. He is especially grateful to the hardworking rank-and-file public servants who work every day to keep America safe and uphold our laws while protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans.
Minority members of the Committee have reportedly drafted a separate memorandum. The Administration stands ready to work with Congress to accommodate oversight requests consistent with applicable standards, including the need to protect intelligence sources and methods.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
February 2, 2018

Congressman Matt Gaetz Issues Statement in Response to Intelligence Committee Memo Release

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) today issued the following statement in response to the long-awaited release of the “FISA memo”:

“The recently-released “FISA memo” from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence should cause all American citizens to be outraged, regardless of political affiliation. Truth, justice, and transparency are not partisan concepts — they are pillars of the American government.

For FISA surveillance to be used for partisan political gamesmanship is nothing less than an assault on democracy itself. The DOJ and FBI spied on American citizens associated with the Trump campaign based on the unverified claims made in a dossier paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. This is repugnant on every possible level. The other abuses detailed in the memo are equally horrifying. FBI agents leaked information to the media, then used the ensuing news stories as a justification for renewed FISA surveillance. This is a wanton miscarriage of justice, and the stuff of tin-pot dictatorships and banana republics — not the United States of America.

I read the memo as soon as it was released to Members of Congress, and my heart sank. Not only did it lay bare a systemic pattern of abuse within the FBI and the DOJ, it confirmed my worst fear: America’s free and fair elections were being threatened from within. Our own Justice Department worked to tip the scales of justice, exploiting the tools of the intelligence community in order to benefit one political candidate. This is an American nightmare.

I immediately sent a letter to Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, asking for the memo to be released to the public. I believe that the American people deserved to see it. I believe the American people deserve a transparent, fair government. I believe that all Americans deserve to know that their vote, and their voice, matters. I believe in elections by the American people — WE THE PEOPLE — and free from corruption.

Sixty-four other Congressmen joined my letter, and my fight to release the memo. Our calls for transparency were met with opposition from Democrats, from the Justice Department, and from FBI leadership. Today, with the release of the memo, our hard work came to fruition.

I call on every American citizen to read this memo, not with preconceived partisan rancor, but with clear eyes and open minds. We must work together to ensure these atrocities never happen again.”

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Feb. 3, 2018

ICYMI: House Judiciary Committee RM Nadler Shares Analysis of Nunes Memo

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Saturday, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sent a legal analysis of the “Nunes memo” to his Democratic colleagues. You can view it here and below.

To Democratic Subscribers

House Judiciary Committee Analysis of the Nunes Memo

Sending Office: Committee on the Judiciary - Minority Staff

February 3, 2018

Dear Democratic Colleague:

            On Friday, House Republicans released the so-called “Nunes memo,” a set of deeply misleading talking points drafted by the Republican staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  House Republicans did so over the objections of the Department of Justice, the Director of the FBI, the Director of National Intelligence, and several Senate Republicans, among others.

            You may have heard President Trump describe the allegations in the Nunes memo as a “disgrace.”  He thinks “a lot of people should be ashamed.”  President Trump is right, in his way.  This embarrassingly flawed memo is a disgrace.  House Republicans should be ashamed.

            Although I have had the benefit of reading the materials that form the basis for the Nunes memo, most members have not—including, reportedly, Chairman Nunes.  Accordingly, I am forwarding the legal analysis below for use by your office based on my review the Nunes memo and on outside sources.  

            Please let my staff know if we can provide your office with any additional guidance.

                                                            Jerrold Nadler
                                                            Ranking Member
                                                            House Committee on the Judiciary


I.          The FISA court found probable cause to believe that Carter Page is an agent of a foreign power.  Nothing in the Nunes memo rules out the possibility that considerable evidence beyond the Steele dossier helped the court reach that conclusion.

            We should not lose sight of a critical and undisputed fact: the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court found probable cause to believe that Carter Page—a member of the Trump campaign’s foreign policy team—was an agent of the Russian government.

            The Nunes memo states that, “[o]n October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order . . . authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page.”  To obtain an order to conduct surveillance under Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the government must provide “a statement of the facts and circumstances” demonstrating probable cause that “the target of the electronic surveillance is . . . an agent of a foreign power.”

            The central allegation of the Nunes memo is that the government committed a fraud when it obtained an order to conduct surveillance of Carter Page, a member of President Trump’s foreign policy team during the campaign.  The memo claims that “[t]he ‘dossier’ compiled by Christopher Steele . . . formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application,” but that the government failed to disclose “the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts.”

            If not for this misrepresentation to the court, the story goes, there never would have been a Russia investigation.  This claim is deliberately misleading and deeply wrong on the law.

            First, the Nunes memo appears to concede that the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russian government was well underway before the government applied for an order to conduct surveillance of Carter Page.  In its final paragraph, the Nunes memo states: “[t]he Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016.”  The statement refers to George Papadopoulos, another member of the Trump campaign’s foreign policy team.  There is no reason to dispute the Nunes memo’s assertion that the FBI was actively investigating the Trump campaign months before they approached the court about Carter Page.

            Second, there is already a well-established body of law dealing with allegations that “material and relevant information was omitted” from the application to the court—and, in the case of Carter Page, that law appears to fall almost entirely on the side of the government.  In Franks v. Delaware (1978), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a court may only void a search warrant if the government “knowingly and intentionally, or with reckless disregard for the truth,” included false information or excluded true information that was or would have been critical to the court’s determination of probable cause.  The Nunes memo alleges nothing that would even come close to meeting this standard.  Indeed, we have every indication that the government made its application to the court in good faith.

            So, to be clear: Carter Page was, more likely than not, an agent of a foreign power.  The Department of Justice thought so.  A federal judge agreed.  That consensus, supported by the facts, forms the basis for the warrant issued by the FISA court.  The Russian government waged a massive campaign to discredit our election.  Carter Page appears to have played a role in that effort.  The FBI has a responsibility to follow these facts where they lead.  The Nunes memo would have us sweep this all under the rug.  And for what, exactly?

II.        Christopher Steele is a recognized expert on Russia and organized crime.

            Through several acts of willful omission, the Nunes memo alleges the FISA application is tainted because Christopher Steele “was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and the Clinton campaign . . . to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.”  The Nunes memo would have us believe the Russia investigation was a Democratic plot from the outset.  That is simply ridiculous.

            The Nunes memo does not show that the government relied solely, or even substantially, on the information provided to the FBI by Christopher Steele when it made its application to the court.  It does not show that Steele’s work was compromised by the source of funding.  It does not show that Fusion GPS—the firm that hired Steele to do this work—was any more or less diligent when it worked for Democratic clients than when it worked for Republicans.  And, amazingly, the Nunes memo does not provide a single shred of evidence that any aspect of the Steele dossier is false or inaccurate in any way. 

            We have no idea if Christopher Steele even knew the source of his funding when Fusion GPS first hired him to research Donald Trump’s connections to the Russian government.  In fact, Fusion GPS initiated the project on behalf of the conservative Washington Free Beacon, not the DNC.  The firm’s task was to provide credible research, and they hired an expert for the job—a retired British intelligence officer, experienced in Russian affairs and well-known to the FBI as a useful source of valuable intelligence in earlier investigations.

            Nothing about the source of Steele’s funding or his later opinions about Donald Trump speak to the credibility of his work, or its inclusion in the FISA application.  The Nunes memo gives us no reason to doubt the court’s determination of probable cause to believe that Carter Page was an agent of the Russian government—particularly given Page’s later admissions to the press about his interactions with Russian officials.

            And nothing about the payment from the DNC is unethical or improper.  Christopher Steele is one of the world’s leading experts on Russian organized crime.  His job was to uncover the facts.  Many feared during the election that the Trump campaign had been compromised by the Russian government.  Two guilty pleas and two indictments later, those fears seem well justified.

III.       The Nunes memo provides no credible basis whatsoever for removing Rod Rosenstein as Deputy Attorney General.

            The Nunes memo makes a point of stating that a number of officials, including Deputy Attorney General, “signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ.”  Because Attorney General Jeff Sessions is recused from any investigation related to the 2016 campaigns, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein directly oversees the Special Counsel’s investigation.  The Deputy Attorney General has become a target for those attempting to interfere with that investigation.  President Trump has refused to rule out using the Nunes Memo as pretext for dismissing the DAG.  “You figure that one out,” he said when asked about the Deputy Attorney General on Friday.

            Whatever one thinks of the merits of the Nunes memo—and it is clearly not a serious document—the memo provides no basis whatsoever to justify the removal of Rod Rosenstein as Deputy Attorney General from his critical and trusted position.   The Nunes memo focuses largely on process that transpired before the Deputy Attorney General took office.  There is no reason to believe that he reviewed or approved any FISA application for submission to the court except according to normal process and procedures.

            The Nunes memo leaves out a critical point in this area as well.  Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, when seeking a renewal of a surveillance order, the government is required to provide the court “a statement of the facts concerning all previous applications . . . involving any of the persons, facilities, or places specified in the application.”  That requirement includes a description of the intelligence received so far and its value to the underlying case.  Although he was not involved in the initial application, the Deputy Attorney General could not have signed an application to renew surveillance on Carter Page if the government was unable to show that it had already gathered valuable evidence under existing orders and expected that collection to continue.  Under these circumstances, any decision not to approve the renewal would have appeared to have been politically motivated.

            If the President is looking to fire Mr. Rosenstein, he will have to look outside the Nunes memo for his pretext.

IV.       The Nunes memo shows that House Republicans are now part and parcel to an organized effort to obstruct the Special Counsel’s investigation.

            On January 24, 2018, the Department of Justice wrote to warn the House Intelligence Committee that releasing the memo would be “extraordinarily reckless.”  On January 29, the FBI issued a statement citing “grave concerns” with inaccuracies and omissions in that document.  On January 30, the Majority twice blocked our request to move the House Judiciary Committee into closed session, where we would have been free to discuss our own concerns with the plan to make this information public without context, without meaningful input from the FBI, and without providing Members with access to the source materials.  On February 1, I wrote to Chairman Goodlatte asking for him to call the FBI Director and other officials from the Department of Justice to brief us on an emergency basis—before the Nunes memo was made public—but my request was again ignored.

            House Republicans do not speak up when President Trump attacks the press, smears career investigators by name, or demands loyalty from the leadership of the Department of Justice and the FBI.  They have taken no significant steps to understand how the Russian government worked to undermine our last election.  They show little interest in protecting our next election from foreign attack—even though President Trump’s hand-picked intelligence chiefs warn us that the threat is very real.

            Until now, we could only really accuse House Republicans of ignoring the President’s open attempts to block the Russia investigation.

            But with the release of the Nunes memo—a backhanded attempt to cast doubt on the origins of the Special Counsel’s investigation—we can only conclude that House Republicans are complicit in the effort to help the President avoid accountability for his actions and for the actions of his campaign.

            In the end, who could possibly benefit from the release of this shoddy work?

            Only Donald Trump, who will use these half-truths to further interfere with the Special Counsel, and Vladimir Putin, who now has a clear view of how our intelligence community attempted to interrupt his operations in the United States.


Additional Background

            Christopher Steele served as an intelligence officer with British intelligence service MI6 from 1987 until his retirement in 2009.  From 1990 to 1992, he worked under diplomatic cover as an MI6 agent in the Embassy of the United Kingdom to Russia.  By 2006, Steele headed the Russia Desk at MI6.  He remains one of the world’s foremost experts on Russia—and, in particular, connections between the Russian government and organized crime.

            In September 2015, the conservative Washington Free Beacon retained the services of Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Donald Trump.  When President Trump emerged as the Republican candidate, the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee hired Fusion GPS for the same services.  As part of this project, Christopher Steel produced what became known as the Steele dossier.

            Carter Page was known to the United States government for his involvement with the Russian government long before he joined the Trump campaign.  Court documents show that Russian intelligence operatives attempted to recruit Page in 2013.  One spy thought that Page was “an idiot” who wants to “rise up” and “earn lots of money.”

            Then-candidate Donald Trump named Page a part of the Trump campaign’s foreign policy team on March 21, 2016.  In July 2016, with the explicit approval of the Trump campaign, Page traveled to Moscow to give a speech on “the future of the world economy” and to meet with Russian officials.  Despite several public accounts of these meetings, Page would later deny any contact with the Russian government.  By August 2016—when it had become apparent that the Russian government was working to undermine the election—the Trump campaign began to distance itself from Carter Page.

            Later reports show that, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Page admitted to meeting with Russian officials and to briefing at least one “senior person” on the Trump campaign about those meetings.

            None of this information relies upon the Steele dossier.

            The relevant legal standard for evaluating the FISA application is laid out in Franks v. Delaware.  “[t]here is, of course, a presumption of validity with respect to the affidavit supporting the search warrant.”  438 U.S. 154, 171.

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), HPSCI Ranking Member
Washington, February 2, 2018

House Intelligence Committee Minority Response to Release of Chairman Nunes’ Misleading Memo

Washington, DC – Today, the Minority of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence responded to the release of HPSCI Chairman Nunes’ memo:

“Chairman Nunes’ decision, supported by House Speaker Ryan and Republican Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, to publicly release misleading allegations against the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation is a shameful effort to discredit these institutions, undermine the Special Counsel’s ongoing investigation, and undercut congressional probes. Furthermore, their refusal to allow release of a comprehensive response memorandum prepared by Committee Democrats is a transparent effort to suppress the full truth.

“As the DOJ emphasized to Chairman Nunes, the decision to employ an obscure and never before used House rule to release classified information without DOJ and FBI vetting was ‘extraordinarily reckless.’ The selective release and politicization of classified information sets a terrible precedent and will do long-term damage to the Intelligence Community and our law enforcement agencies. If potential intelligence sources know that their identities might be compromised when political winds arise, those sources of vital information will simply dry up, at great cost to our national security.

“The Republican document mischaracterizes highly sensitive classified information that few Members of Congress have seen, and which Chairman Nunes himself chose not to review. It fails to provide vital context and information contained in DOJ’s FISA application and renewals, and ignores why and how the FBI initiated, and the Special Counsel has continued, its counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s election interference and links to the Trump campaign. The sole purpose of the Republican document is to circle the wagons around the White House and insulate the President. Tellingly, when asked whether the Republican staff who wrote the memo had coordinated its drafting with the White House, the Chairman refused to answer.

“The premise of the Nunes memo is that the FBI and DOJ corruptly sought a FISA warrant on a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, and deliberately misled the court as part of a systematic abuse of the FISA process. As the Minority memo makes clear, none of this is true. The FBI had good reason to be concerned about Carter Page and would have been derelict in its responsibility to protect the country had it not sought a FISA warrant.

“In order to understand the context in which the FBI sought a FISA warrant for Carter Page, it is necessary to understand how the investigation began, what other information the FBI had about Russia’s efforts to interfere with our election, and what the FBI knew about Carter Page prior to making application to the court – including Carter Page’s previous interactions with Russian intelligence operatives. This is set out in the Democratic response which the GOP so far refuses to make public.

“The authors of the GOP memo would like the country to believe that the investigation began with Christopher Steele and the dossier, and if they can just discredit Mr. Steele, they can make the whole investigation go away regardless of the Russians’ interference in our election or the role of the Trump campaign in that interference. This ignores the inconvenient fact that the investigation did not begin with, or arise from Christopher Steele or the dossier, and that the investigation would persist on the basis of wholly independent evidence had Christopher Steele never entered the picture.

“The DOJ appropriately provided the court with a comprehensive explanation of Russia’s election interference, including evidence that Russian agents courted another Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos. As we know from Papadopoulos’ guilty plea, Russian agents disclosed to Papadopoulos their possession of stolen Clinton emails and interest in a relationship with the campaign. In claiming that there is ‘no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos,’ the Majority deliberately misstates the reason why DOJ specifically explained Russia’s role in courting Papadopoulos and the context in which to evaluate Russian approaches to Page.

“The Majority suggests that the FBI failed to alert the court as to Mr. Steele’s potential political motivations or the political motivations of those who hired him, but this is not accurate. The GOP memo also claims that a Yahoo News article was used to corroborate Steele, but this is not at all why the article was referenced. These are but a few of the serious mischaracterizations of the FISA application. There are many more set out in the Democratic response, which we will again be seeking a vote to release publicly on Monday, February 5th. Unlike Committee Republicans, however, we will ask the relevant agencies to propose any necessary redactions to protect any sources and methods not already disclosed by Chairman Nunes’ document.

“It is telling that Chairman Nunes put out this memo without bothering to read the underlying materials, and that he ordered changes to the document without informing his own committee members. It is a terrible lapse in leadership that Speaker Ryan failed to intervene and prevent the abuse of classified materials in this way. It is tragic, if all too predictable, that this President would allow the release of the memo despite FBI and DOJ’s expressions of ‘grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the [Republicans’] memo’s accuracy’. But most destructive of all may be the announcement by Chairman Nunes that he has placed the FBI and DOJ under investigation, impugning and impairing the work of the dedicated professionals trying to keep our country safe.”

The memo and letter from the White House can be found here.

HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes
Jan. 31, 2018

Nunes Statement on FBI, DOJ Objections to Release of HPSCI Memo

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes issued the following statement today:

“Having stonewalled Congress’ demands for information for nearly a year, it’s no surprise to see the FBI and DOJ issue spurious objections to allowing the American people to see information related to surveillance abuses at these agencies. The FBI is intimately familiar with ‘material omissions’ with respect to their presentations to both Congress and the courts, and they are welcome to make public, to the greatest extent possible, all the information they have on these abuses. Regardless, it’s clear that top officials used unverified information in a court document to fuel a counter-intelligence investigation during an American political campaign. Once the truth gets out, we can begin taking steps to ensure our intelligence agencies and courts are never misused like this again.” 

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Jan 30, 2018

Breaking: House Judiciary Committee Republicans Shut Down Nadler’s Request for Session to Discuss “Nunes Memo” Source

Washington, D.C. – After Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted to release the so-called “Nunes memo” yesterday, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), today called on Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), to hold an executive session to allow every Member of the House Judiciary Committee to review the original source materials on which that memo is supposedly based in order to understand many of its gross inaccuracies. Republicans shut down this request along party lines with a vote of 16 to 12.

On January 23, 2018, after reviewing the “Nunes Memo,” Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler immediately wrote to Chairman Bob Goodlatte to express his concerns.  The letter to Goodlatte is available here.

Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler’s remarks from today, calling for an executive session, are below:

Part One

Before I close, I must make a separate but urgent request. We have reached an inflection point in our politics, Mr. Chairman.  For months, my colleagues and I have urged this Committee to conduct meaningful oversight of the Trump Administration. Across the board, House Republicans have failed in that responsibility.

Despite the intelligence community’s unanimous conclusion that our last election was compromised by a foreign adversary—and their warning that Russia and others will certainly attempt to compromise our next election—they have taken no action to secure our next election from foreign adversaries.

The Majority seems not to care that President Trump has tried to pressure all three of his FBI directors to make the Russia investigation go away.  The Majority took the time to trash Deputy Director McCabe in a letter last night—but said nothing about the President’s attempt to fire Special Counsel Mueller, or the President’s hints at removing Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, or the President’s months-long, personal attack on Mr. and Mrs. McCabe.

But before now, we could only say that House Republicans had ignored an obvious, coordinated attempt to protect President Trump by undermining the Special Counsel and the FBI.

Over the past few days, Mr. Chairman, that characterization has clearly changed. Last night, the Intelligence Committee voted to release the so-called “Nunes memo,” a set of talking points written by Republican committee staff and based on highly classified information related to an ongoing investigation.

They did so over the objection of the Department of Justice, without regard for obvious national security concerns—and without having read many of the documents that the Nunes memo purports to summarize. So House Republicans are no longer simply ignoring an obvious attempt to obstruct the work of the Special Counsel.

House Republicans are now complicit in an obvious attempt to obstruct the work of the Special Counsel.  They are accessories to it. Earlier this month—at your request, Mr. Chairman—the Department of Justice allowed the two of us to review many of the materials that would put the Nunes memo into context.

As far as I can tell, you and I are among very few Members to have actually read these source documents.  I should add, Mr. Chairman, that your December 6th letter asking the Department to provide us with these documents cuts against most of your earlier explanations for inaction.  You can ask the Committee to wait until the Special Counsel has finished his work before we talk about Russia, or you can assert our jurisdiction to obtain these documents—but you cannot consistently do both.

You asked for these documents, the Department delivered, and the investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government are now fair game for hearings and further discussion in this chamber.

Because these documents are critical to understanding many of the gross inaccuracies in the Nunes memo—and because so many Members of this Committee have openly characterized that classified memo in the press, without any firsthand knowledge of the documents on which that memo is supposedly based—it is imperative that every Member of our Committee have access to this material without delay.

I wrote to you last week to ask you to work with me to secure that access. I want to make that case again to you now—but I cannot do so in an open setting.

I therefore move that the Committee immediately move into executive session for further discussion of this topic. If we need to move into a classified setting after that discussion, we can take that step as well. Mr. Chairman, I make the motion that the committee immediately move into executive session for further discussion of this topic.

Part Two

We have been attempting to get a discussion of these matters before this committee, for what, almost a year. We have written repeated letters to you. We have spoken repeatedly. We have asked for full committee access to the FISA materials that you and I have reviewed. We have asked to discuss the interference with the FBI and Special Counsel by the President and others. We have asked to discuss the circumstances surrounding the firing of James Comey. We have asked to discuss the foreign interference in federal elections. We have asked to discuss the many apparent ethic violations of the Administration, including the President’s violations of foreign emoluments clause of the Constitution.

In every case, the Committee has not acted. The Chairman has stated repeatedly that we did not have to act on any of this because the Special Prosecutor was doing the investigation. This was despite the fact that the Special Council actually is limited in his jurisdiction to looking at crimes, while we have the jurisdiction to look at the circumstances and to look at the effects on the country and on the constitution.

We have been stonewalled. We have this memo now from Mr. Nunes, based allegedly on underlining documents, which I can say—having read the underlining documents—it’s totally misleading. We have the release by the intelligence committee of that document. We have other matters and amble reason that this committee must get involved. And this committee now, well at least the Republican Members of this committee, have been alleging various conspiracies and other plots, and I make this motion now, and we can discuss in executive session all the details in why because we have been asking for a long time for this committee to take action, or least to discuss these matter which are in our jurisdiction. The FBI is subject to systematic attack by the Administration. The FBI is within our jurisdiction, not the Intel Committee jurisdiction, or anybody else. The Department of Justice is within our jurisdiction. And I would submit that is our duty to look at the circumstances under which the integrity of the FBI is being maligned and its integrity assaulted.

There is a very serious issue before this country as to the integrity of our public security agencies, and we have to get into that, and I make this motion now to go into executive session to discuss this because we have tried every other means to do so and frankly this is more important than the scaffolding laws, as important as that may to decide.

Recent reports show the Trump Administration and its Republican supporters in Congress working to undermine the Special Counsel’s investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government—including placing the FBI Director under so much pressure to fire his Deputy Director that he threatened to resign, accusing FBI investigators of “treason,” and drafting the so-called “Nunes Memo,” a set of talking points drafted by the Republican staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. 

The House Committee on the Judiciary has not yet held a single substantive hearing on this effort to interfere with the Special Counsel.  Judiciary Republicans have also taken no action to address the ongoing threat Russia poses to the U.S. federal election system—despite pledging to do so when adopting the Committee’s oversight plan.