So White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is saying the Devin Nunes memo will be released to the world, soon, based on a comment made by President Trump, as he was leaving his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
Rep. Jeff Duncan asked Trump as he exited to release the memo. Trump responded, “Oh, yeah. 100 percent.”
He then looked to somebody else and said, “He wouldn’t like that.”
So will he? Is Kelly just going on Trump’s comments last night?
Until it happens, it’s hard to say. Trump has 5 days to review, consult with his legal team, and to comply with the vote from the House Intelligence Committee.
In the meantime, however, his pick to head the FBI, Director Christopher Wray is joining the chorus of voices urging the president to reject the memo.
According to a story today in Bloomberg:
FBI Director Christopher Wray told the White House he opposes the release of a controversial, classified GOP memo alleging bias at the FBI and Justice Department because it contains inaccurate information and paints a false narrative, according to a person familiar with the matter.
And this is what others are saying, along with the fact that the information is unsubstantiated. It’s basically just a 4-page list of accusations from Trump lackey, Devin Nunes.
The FBI isn’t included in the inter-agency review process led by the White House aimed at deciding whether — and how much of — the memo can be made public following a vote Monday by the House Intelligence panel to release it. Wray was allowed to read the memo on Sunday.
Members of the Justice Department have also warned against releasing the memo without proper review of the information contained, on the grounds that it may present a national security risk.
Of those things purported to be in the memo is a claim that a judge might not have signed off on a request for further surveillance of former Trump foreign policy aide, Carter Page.
Words matter. Pay close attention to the “might not.”
The debate comes as the FBI is going through its own transition. On Monday, one day after he read the memo, Wray summoned FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to his office for a meeting, the person familiar with the matter said. After the two talked, McCabe submitted his resignation and went on leave until the spring, most likely March.
It wasn’t immediately clear what the memo alleges about McCabe, whose actions have also been under investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general.
So is there something there that’s damning to McCabe, or is just the fact that he’s wrapped up in it enough to cause Wray to recommend he go ahead and duck out of the fray by using his stored up vacation time to cut out early?
In a message to the bureau on Monday, Wray said he respects the inspector general’s process, but said he wouldn’t discuss it, the person said. Wray didn’t indicate in the message any wrongdoing by McCabe. But the director said he won’t be persuaded by political pressure and he’s going to do his job by the book, the person said.
How long before Wray, Trump’s pick, is also excoriated by the anti-FBI/anti-Justice Department factions from the Trumposphere?