Press Releases

Beyer Statement on the Release of the Nunes Memo

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Washington, February 2, 2018 | comments

“Against the advice of his own Republican appointees who lead the Department of Justice and the FBI, President Trump decided to release Devin Nunes’ highly politicized memorandum before he had even read it.

It will be immediately apparent to anyone who reads it how overblown the predictions about the importance of this document were. The words of TV pundits and partisan Congressmen who claimed the memo was “worse than Watergate” and “the biggest political scandal in American history” have been shown to be absurd and wrong, just as those of us who had already read it said they would be.

President Trump’s stated hope that this would undermine the Special Counsel’s investigation into his campaign’s cooperation with Russia and his obstruction of justice has also been disappointed. The document entirely focuses on the Steele Dossier and Carter Page, whom the White House tried to disavow, and whose manifold Russian ties are well-documented. The Nunes memo intentionally omits basic, key information on Page, including the established fact that he had come under FBI surveillance years ago when Russian spies attempted to recruit him as an intelligence asset in 2013. As even Nunes acknowledges, the FBI’s original investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia was launched on the basis of reports about George Papadopoulos, long before the Bureau became aware of the Steele Dossier.

Nunes has made a case against a narrow FISA warrant process that is entirely dependent on the withholding of facts which provide essential context. Nunes also prevented the simultaneous release of the Schiff memo, which rebutted his dishonest work point by point, in an effort to prevent the full truth from emerging. The public must now be allowed to read Ranking Member Schiff’s response.

It is deeply disheartening that Republicans on the Intelligence Committee, who have shown little appetite for finding the truth about Russian attacks on our elections or preventing similar future attacks, should instead engage in partisan warfare aimed to discredit the FBI and the Justice Department. But even these few misleading pages failed to in any way tarnish the Mueller investigation, which must continue without political interference.”

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