King Says House Intel Chief Won’t Show Memo to DOJ Before Trump Gets It
New York congressman believes Justice Department would 'make a pre-emptive attack' on it and leak it to the press
House Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) won’t give Department of Justice (DOJ) officials the ability to “make a pre-emptive attack” on his memo — which summarizes classified information on misconduct at the highest levels of the FBI.
“If we gave them this memo [in advance], what they would do is, it would be passed out to all their friends in the media to tear it down before it even gets out there,” Rep. Peter King, (R-N.Y.) said Wednesday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.” King’s comments were based on his conversations with Nunes’ key staff members.
A senior member of the intelligence panel, King added, “Everything that’s in that memo is from the Justice Department — information we found. There’s no surprises there to them. They just want to be ready to … make a pre-emptive attack on it. We’re not going to let them.”
King said that Nunes “fully intends to go ahead” with releasing the memo after the House votes on it if President Donald Trump gives his approval, which King fully expects the chief executive to do. “And we are not going to show it to the Justice Department.”
King also noted that the committee has “gotten almost no cooperation from them at all over the last several months.”
Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd warned Nunes in a letter Wednesday that releasing the memo about the FBI’s surveillance overreach “would be extraordinarily reckless” without a departmental review.
But King told host Laura Ingraham the American people have the right to know if the FBI’s investigation of allegations that Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russian interests — as well as its probe of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server and email address to conduct official government business — were compromised by partisan or other considerations.
King said the findings described in the memo are "very, very significant" and show "either terrible mistakes or deliberate wrongdoing at high levels. And there is a clamor by the public to see the memo."
Noting he hasn't heard "one word yet indicating any collusion" between the Trump campaign and the Russians to throw the 2016 presidential election, King said the intelligence panel and Special Counsel Robert Mueller largely have interviewed the same witnesses.
"If they come out with any finding of collusion at all based on what I've heard, then I would say that they're not doing their job," King said of Mueller's Russia probe. "I look upon it either intentionally or unintentionally as a political hit job."
"This to me has all been a concerted effort to go after Donald Trump," King continued. "Listen, you have a lot of reasons you could disagree with Donald Trump. But to say that he was colluding with the enemy when there no evidence there, to me, is shameful, and it's going on now."
Trump told reporters Wednesday that he is ready and willing to testify under oath as part of Mueller's probe — a step against which some of Trump's closest advisers and legal experts warned against. Roger Stone, Trump's longtime friend and former campaign adviser, told Ingraham that Trump should avoid testifying in person under oath at all costs.
"It's understandable why the president's confident. He knows he's done nothing wrong," Stone said. "But a first-year law student would tell you that this is an obvious perjury trap — that Robert Mueller is taking advantage of the president's loquaciousness, the fact that he's never a man who suffered from a paucity of words.
"It's a suicide mission. It's a very clear perjury trap."
"And what is absolutely clear is that Mr. Mueller has no evidence of Russian collusion ... And he seeks to entrap the president in some kind of process crime — perjury or obstruction. It's a suicide mission. It's a very clear perjury trap."
Stone encouraged Trump to consider the "perfectly reasonable" compromise of answering written questions from Mueller in writing to avoid a "constitutional crisis. I don't see how any reasonable person could disagree with that."
But, Stone added, "for the president to walk into the blade, as it were, and to try to pretend that Mueller and his band of partisan pirates are just honest brokers, honest prosecutors just trying to ferret out the truth, is disproved by everything we know so far."