Home / World News / FBI clashes with Trump, has “grave concerns” on Russia memo – The Denver Post

FBI clashes with Trump, has “grave concerns” on Russia memo – The Denver Post

WASHINGTON — In a remarkably public clash of wills with the White House, the FBI declared Wednesday it has “grave concerns” about the accuracy of a classified memo on the Russia election investigation that President Donald Trump wants released.

The FBI’s short and sharp statement, its first on the issue, laid bare a Trump administration conflict that had previously played out mostly behind closed doors in meetings between top Justice Department and White House officials.

“As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” the FBI said.

Further complicating the memo’s release, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee said late Wednesday that his committee’s vote to release the memo was now invalid because it was “secretly altered” by Republicans who wrote it. California Rep. Adam Schiff said in a letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes that committee Democrats had discovered changes that were made after the panel voted Monday to send it to Trump for review.

“The White House has therefore been reviewing a document since Monday night that the committee never approved for public release,” Schiff said in the letter.

Schiff did not detail the changes, and a spokesman for Nunes did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump has five days from the vote to review the document, and if he doesn’t object then Congress can release it.

Schiff called for Nunes to withdraw the memo from the White House and for the committee to hold a new vote next Monday.

The memo is part of an effort to reveal what Republicans say are surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department in the early stages of the investigation into potential ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

The FBI’s stance on the memo escalates the dispute and means Trump would be openly defying his hand-picked FBI director by continuing to push for its disclosure. It also suggests a clear willingness by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who in the early stretch of his tenure has been notably low-key, to challenge a president who just months ago fired his predecessor, James Comey.

The FBI statement came the day after Trump was overheard telling a congressman that he “100 percent” supported release of the four-page memo.

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