Conaway Wants Explosive Classified Memo on Alleged FISA Abuse Released to Public
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Mike Conaway wants the explosive classified document outlining what D.C. journalist Sara Carter described as extensive abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, made public.
Thursday, members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted to release the classified document to members of the entire House of Representatives. The document is purported to detail how the “Trump dossier,” another report and a discredited document created by a Washington consulting firm named Fusion GPS, was used as justification for ordering U.S. Department of Justice and FBI infiltration of the Trump campaign in 2016 under FISA.
The “dossier,” it was later learned, was actually an opposition research project on Russia’s alleged collusion with Trump that was compiled by ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. It was paid for, in part, by the Hillary Clinton campaign, Trump’s opposition in the election.
FISA is a special court Congress allows where law enforcement can present classified allegations to a judge and the judge can approve or disapprove using federal law enforcement assets to wiretap and monitor named foreign suspects and their communications with U.S. citizens.
Having federal law enforcement assets unleashed on the Trump campaign based upon evidence presented that was in reality just opposition research by political campaigns has brought criticism from many corners. The hash tag #ReleaseTheMemo was trending on Twitter with over 800,000 tweets on Friday morning.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, or HSPCI, is a House committee chaired by Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA). Their memo, a classified document, is a compilation of information culled from a Department of Justice-Office of the Inspector General report provided to the House Intelligence Committee last week and prepared by the HIC staff. It specifically focuses on what Republicans claim is the weaponization of government intelligence by Loretta Lynch’s DOJ, Jim Comey’s FBI, John Brennan’s CIA, and James Clapper’s DNI (Director of National Intelligence) to sabotage Trump’s candidacy and delegitimize his election. Lynch, Comey, Brennan and Clapper served under the Obama administration.
Congressman Conaway, who represents west Texas from Granbury to Midland in CD-11, wants the classified memo released to the public.
“The House Intelligence Committee memorandum is the result of months of diligent investigation by the Committee. After a Committee vote this week, the memo has been made available to all Members of the House of Representatives. The Committee is now seeking input from colleagues who have read the memo regarding its content and next steps, including potentially releasing the memo publicly,” Conaway said in a statement late Saturday night.
Conaway called for proper procedures to be deployed in declassifying the memo and releasing it to the public.
“House rules specifically lay out the process for public release of a memorandum of this kind, which would include additional Committee consideration and a vote. I believe the memo should be released to the public in accordance with House and Committee rules, and I will keep the public apprised of future developments as this discussion progresses,” Conaway stated.
Despite its descriptions as “explosive” the memo may contain not much at all.
ThinkProgress, a progressive and liberal online news and opinion source, notes that “Republicans making the most noise about the memo have already demonstrated they are operating with motives besides protecting Americans from unwarranted surveillance. And their effort to muddy the waters is being aided by Russia-linked Twitter accounts.”
Yet, even ThinkProgress wants the memo declassified and released.