House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes has been condemned by former CIA Director John Brennan for his decision to release the incredibly controversial Republican memo alleging FBI surveillance abuses. Brennan called aspects of the move “exceptionally partisan.” Brennan also said that Nunes has “abused the office” by refusing to allow Democrats on his panel to make their rebuttal document public.
He told NBC’s Meet The Press:
“That Devin Nunes and Republicans denied the ability of the minority, the Democratic members of that committee, to put out its report is just appalling. I think it, it really underscores just how partisan Mr. Nunes has been. He has abused the office of the chairmanship of HPSCI. And I don’t say that lightly.”
John Brennan also said the failure to provide the classified information that the memo is based on shows Nunes is being “exceptionally partisan,” adding, “We don’t have access to the underlying information of the Nunes memo which really, you know, clearly indicates that he was being exceptionally partisan in this.”
This is not the first time Brennan has spoken out against the memo.
I had many fights with Congressional Dems over the years on national security matters. But I never witnessed the type of reckless partisan behavior I am now seeing from Nunes and House Republicans. Absence of moral and ethical leadership in WH is fueling this government crisis. https://t.co/KEUrsgtqhp
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) February 1, 2018
The memo that Nunes was so eager to release alleges that the FBI, in seeking a warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), relied solely on an opposition research dossier of regarding Trump and possible collusion between his campaign and Russia.
This has been roundly rejected by Democrats and a number of nonpartisans. The fact is that FISA warrants aren’t easy to obtain. There is no way that one would have been issued based solely on the contents of a privately sourced report such as the Steele dossier.
On Sunday, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC) even crossed party lines to say that the “memo” doesn’t have any impact on the Russia probe. More importantly, Gowdy says there would have been an investigation regardless of whether the Steele dossier even existed.