The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US has “grave concerns” regarding the accuracy of a classified memo pertaining to the Russia investigation. President Donald Trump wants the memo to be released.
On Wednesday, the FBI made its first statement on the accuracy of a four-page memo, which was compiled by staffers for the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes apparently showing anti-Trump bias at the agency.
The document allegedly accuses the FBI and the US Justice Department of misleading a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court while seeking an extension on a secret eavesdropping operation against Carter Page, an adviser to Trump’s 2016 election campaign.
“As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” the FBI said in its short statement. Justice Department officials have also said releasing the memo could jeopardize classified information.
Democrats claim the memo is an attempt to discredit the FBI-led investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The House committee voted to release the memo earlier this week. Trump has until the weekend to decide whether to de-classify the information for public release.
The FBI statement came a day after Trump was overheard telling a congressman that he “100 percent” supported the memo’s release, and hours after White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said he expected the memo’s release to be “pretty quick.”
Nunes, a close ally of the president, said in a statement on Wednesday that objections to the release of the memo were “spurious.”
White House chief of staff John Kelly said during an interview with Fox News Radio on Wednesday that the president “wants everything out so the American people can make up their own minds and if there are people to be held accountable, then so be it.”
There are concerns the memo could be used to discredit special council Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is leading the investigation into whether Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election.
dv/jm (AP, Reuters)