Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Tuesday that Democrats must release their memo to refute parts of the Republican memo on alleged FISA abuses.
“The point is there are elements of the Nunes memo that deserve to be refuted on the record. And the Democratic minority of the House Intelligence Committee is being very responsible to work with the FBI and the Department of Justice to eliminate any parts of it that may compromise security,” Mr. Blumenthal said on CNN, referring to a memo recently released by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.
The dueling memos concern alleged abuses in the top-secret FISA court — created in wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to deal with matters of surveillance. Republicans say that the FBI did not inform the court that the information they used to obtain a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was substantiated by a politically funded dossier.
Democrats dispute this allegation and say Republicans are just looking to undermine the current investigation into possible collusion between President Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.
The White House released the Republican memo last week, but did not release the Democratic memo, saying it contained too much classified information. Democrats are working on editing their memo to resend to the president for release.
“This White House has been contemptible about security,” Mr. Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, said.
He’s also calling on the White House to release the names of everyone operating under a temporary security clearance after revelations that former White House aide Rob Porter — who has been accused of domestic violence — was operating under temporary clearance.
“I’m going to be calling later today for the 30 to 40 names of the interim security clearances, because I believe they are a threat to national security,” Mr. Blumenthal said.
Mr. Porter resigned after the allegations became public, but it was due to these domestic violence accusations that he was denied a security clearance for over a year. White House Counsel Don McGahn was apparently aware of the allegations, as was Chief of Staff John Kelly, but the Trump administration says Mr. Kelly did not know the extent of the abuse until photos were released last week.