FBI Has "Grave Concerns" About Releasing GOP Memo
WASHINGTON - The FBI has "grave concerns" about releasing a controversial, classified memo created by GOP staffers on the House Intelligence Committee.
In a rare public statement on Wednesday, the FBI blasted "omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy."
FBI Director Christopher Wray told the White House Monday he is opposed to releasing the GOP memo because he is concerned it depicts a slanted narrative and because it contains inaccuracies, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to CBS News' Pat Milton. Wray, along with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appealed to White House chief of staff John Kelly to not release the memo. The memo apparently details allegations of abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Department of Justice and FBI around the time of the 2016 presidential campaign.
"The FBI takes seriously its obligations to the FISA Court and its compliance with procedures overseen by career professionals in the Department of Justice and the FBI," the FBI said in a statement. "We are committed to working with the appropriate oversight entities to ensure the continuing integrity of the FISA process."
"With regard to the House Intelligence Committee's memorandum, the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it," the statement continued. "As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy."
Meanwhile, a House Intelligence Committee spokesman said that during reviews of the memo by Wray and two other FBI officials, "they did not cite any factual inaccuracies."
The White House does not appear to be heeding that request. On Wednesday, Kelly said he believes the memo will be released "pretty quick" for all to see. President Trump on Tuesday night, after the State of the Union address, said he "100 percent" supports the release of the memo, after the House Intelligence Committee voted Monday night to release the memo along party lines.
Democrats are concerned Republicans might use the memo to undermine the credibility of the Department of Justice and intelligence community, while Republicans insist it has nothing to do with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, concurred with the FBI's position.
"I think the FBI is exactly right," Schiff said on Capitol Hill Wednesday. "I have the same grave concerns over it. We set out all the reasons why the majority memo is so flawed in our Democratic response, but that's precisely why they voted against releasing it…"
CBS News' Pat Milton, Jeff Pegues, Olivia Andrzejczak Gazis and Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.