Once the White House gave the greenlight to Congress to release a controversial FBI memo, Connecticut lawmakers began voicing their opinions.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, slammed the decision to overrule the Department of Justice and the FBI, which feared the consequences of such a release.
“This despicably wrong decision is a desperate attempt by President Trump and his Capitol Hill lackeys to smear the Special Counsel – and it will fail," Blumenthal said. "This document changes nothing. It regurgitates now well-worn and widely discredited Republican talking points."
The memo was prepared by Republicans on the House intelligence committee who said former FBI and Justice Department officials allowed a surveillance warrant to keep tabs on the communications of a former Trump campaign associate. They called it a "troubling breakdown of the legal process."
Democrats said the memo puts the spotlight on the intelligence community in an effort to smear the investigation into whether or not the Trump campaign collaborated with Russia to sway the 2016 presidential election.
“Reckless release of this memo adds evidence to the growing credible case of obstruction of justice against the President and his associates," Blumenthal said. "This distorted partisan document politically weaponizes our law enforcement and intelligence systems. It recalls the dark days of McCarthy-era character assassination, dragging national security into a partisan gutter. History will condemn colleagues who stood silent in complicity as the President subverted the rule of law to protect himself and score political points.”
Democratic Rep. Joe Courtney echoed that.
“There is no other way to explain President Trump’s action today other than as an attack on the Special Counsel, the FBI, Deputy AG Rosenstein, and ultimately, the rule of law,” Courtney said. “Whatever partisan innuendo the 'memo' cherry-picked to attack the warrant application, at the end of the day an Article III Federal judge approved it based on facts presented by the FBI, not a political agenda. It’s no wonder that professional intelligence advisors and Republican leaders in the Senate unanimously criticized the release of this shoddy haphazard document that tarnishes the credibility of the House Intelligence Committee.”
Rep. Elizabeth Esty, also a Democrat, said she was appalled by the release.
"Chairman [Devin] Nunes's actions are deeply troubling," Esty posted to Twitter. "I believe that he should be removed and immediately replaced by an Intelligence Committee Chairman who is dedicated to impartiality and the preservation of the Constitution."
For more on the release of the memo, head here.
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