President Donald Trump is currently deciding whether or not to release a controversial secret memo, compiled by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), that alleges an anti-Trump conspiracy at the FBI.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted on Monday night to release it, though Democrats unanimously opposed it. The vote gave Trump five days to review the document and decide on its release. The president has previously indicated he wanted the memo made public, and it could be released as early as Thursday.
Now the FBI itself has weighed in against releasing the memo. On Wednesday, the FBI released a strongly worded statement expressing “grave concerns” about the memo’s accuracy:
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. 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. As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, said that he sided with the FBI. “I think the FBI is exactly right. I have the same grave concerns over it.” He added that he knew of the FBI’s concerns before he voted against the memo’s release.
After his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, Trump told Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) he would “100 percent” make the memo public in the coming days. And on Wednesday, Chief of Staff John Kelly told Fox News Radio that the memo “will be released here pretty quick, I think, and the whole world can see it.”
As my colleague Zack Beauchamp reported, releasing the Nunes memo could lead to an open war between Trump and the FBI. But based on the FBI’s latest statement, it’s possible the war has already begun.
Update: This post has been updated with the possible release date of the Nunes memo.