Sen. King: Releasing memo would be ’reckless,’ ‘could expose sources’

Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingBipartisan bill would bring needed funds to deteriorating National Park Service infrastructure Lawmakers say Trump tariffs are threatening local newspapers Senate adds members to pro-NATO group MORE (I-Maine) on Tuesday criticized House Intelligence Committee Republicans for voting to release a classified memo on activity within the FBI, saying it could endanger intelligence-gathering efforts.

“Here’s the problem: You can have something that may look innocent to you and I in a report that’s based on intelligence data. And our adversaries can reverse engineer that data and figure out how we got it,” King said on CNN’s “New Day.”

King warned that releasing the document could expose intelligence sources who are embedded around the world.

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The House Intelligence Committee voted Monday night on party lines to make public a GOP-crafted memo that purports to show bias within the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The document won’t be immediately released but could be at any time this week. The four-page memo reportedly contains allegations that the FBI abused a surveillance program to target the Trump campaign in the 2016 presidential race.

The committee has not provided the memo to the DOJ, despite the department’s requests to view it. The DOJ warned that releasing the document would be “extremely reckless.” 

“It’s not a responsible process,” King said Tuesday. 

He compared it to when the Senate Intelligence Committee issued its report on the CIA’s use of torture. In that case, he said, the committee gave the agency a chance to review the report and respond to its findings before making it public.