DOJ made last-minute plea to WH not to release classified memo: report

Top Department of Justice (DOJ) officials made a last-minute plea to the White House to not release a classified GOP memo that alleges the DOJ abused a surveillance program, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinFBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Sally Yates to testify as part of GOP probe into Russia investigation Graham releases newly declassified documents on Russia probe MORE warned White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE that releasing the memo could put classified information at risk. Rosenstein made the plea during a meeting with FBI Director Christopher Wray, according to the Post.


Rosenstein also asked that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE reconsider his push to release the document, according to the Post, adding that the department was not fully convinced that the document was accurate in how it described the DOJ’s practices.

He added that releasing the memo could create a dangerous precedent.

Wray also said during the meeting that he did not want the memo released. Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Tuberville breaks DC self-quarantine policy to campaign MORE did not attend the meeting.

Kelly told the two men that Trump still wanted to release the document, but that the memo would be reviewed in a process led by the National Security Council and the White House counsel, according to the Post.

The White House, DOJ and FBI all declined to comment to the Post.

The House Intelligence Committee voted Monday to release the memo, which was compiled by the committee's chairman, Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Negotiators 'far apart' as talks yield little ahead of deadline MORE (R-Calif.).

The document reportedly alleges that the DOJ abused a surveillance program in its surveillance of Trump campaign staffer Carter Page, and some Republicans claim that it proves a bias against Trump within the department.

The memo also reportedly claims that Rosenstein approved an application to extend the surveillance of Page. Trump is also reportedly frustrated with Rosenstein, and has discussed removing him from the DOJ.
Rosenstein appointed last year special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.