UPDATE 2 — 2/2, 2:37 p.m. EST: The House intelligence committee released a four page document written by the panel’s Republican members Friday which highlight alleged legal abuses perpetrated by the Justice Department and FBI in obtaining a FISA warrant to conduct electronic surveillance on a Trump campaign adviser in October 2016.
Earlier in the day, President Trump authorized the memo to be declassified without any redactions. The committee’s ranking Democratic member, Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), disputes the document’s allegations, which he says are based on “highly sensitive classified information”.
“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,” he concluded.
Read the Republican majority’s response to Schiff’s criticisms here (PDF file).
UPDATE — 2/1, 9:19 a.m. EST: The FBI said in a statement Wednesday it has serious reservations about the House intelligence committee’s decision to release a congressional GOP memo alleging political bias due to “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”
President Trump, who has five days to decide, was overheard telling Republican South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan after the State of the Union address Tuesday he would “100 percent” approve release the memo.
Later in the day, the committee’s senior Democratic member, Adam Schiff, sent a letter to Chairman Devin Nunes claiming Republicans had “secretly altered” the document after it was voted to be made public. Nunes’ spokesman responded the alterations were “minor edits to the memo, including grammatical fixes and two edits requested by the FBI and by the minority themselves.”
Two months ahead of a planned retirement and in the midst of an investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe unexpectedly resigned Monday.
His resignation effective immediately, McCabe’s will be replaced as acting deputy director by FBI Associate Deputy Director David Bowdich.
In an email to associates at the Bureau, McCabe expressed “sadness” with his resignation, but declared the FBI was “the greatest workforce on earth because you speak up, you tell the truth and you do the right thing.”
Deflecting questions from reporters over rampant speculation President Trump orchestrated McCabe’s resignation, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said her boss played no role in ousting the deputy director.
“I can say that the president wasn’t a part of this decision-making process,” she told reporters at a Monday White House briefing.
FBI Director Christopher Wray sent a message to FBI personnel late Monday saying McCabe’s sudden exit is the result of a forthcoming FBI inspector general report which criticizes the Bureau’s conduct during its 2016 probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
It is believed Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report concluded McCabe should have recused himself from his role in the Clinton probe.
According to sources, McCabe oversaw the 2016 FBI inquiry into former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified material found on a private server Clinton operated from her New York home while she served as secretary of state.
President Trump had openly criticized McCabe, blasting him as biased in part over McCabe’s wife Jill, a Virginia physician, who ran for the Virginia state Senate after being funded by Clinton ally and former Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe. Jill McCabe received over $500,000 in donations from McAuliffe.
Mr. McCabe’s departure arrives at the same moment in which the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted to release a secret memo summarizing surveillance methods employed by the FBI, particularly in application to the surveillance of Carter Page, an adviser to the Trump campaign.
Commissioned by GOP committee chair Devin Nunes, the memo allegedly points to anti-Trump bias and corruption at the very heart of the FBI and Department of Justice.
The memo was viewed by Director Wray on Sunday. Mr. McCabe resigned the following day.
McCabe joined the FBI in 1996 and has served as deputy director since February 2017. Following the dismissal of James Comey as director in May 2017, McCabe assumed the role of director between May 9 and August 2, 2017, when Wray became head of the Bureau.
McCabe will receive full pay and benefits until March.
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