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 RosensteinProtect the police or the First Amendment? Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office 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 TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal 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 SessionsOne quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors Biden fills immigration court with Trump hires Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report 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 NunesMcCarthy unveils House GOP task forces, chairs Former GOP operative installed as NSA top lawyer resigns Sunday shows preview: Russia, US exchange sanctions; tensions over policing rise; vaccination campaign continues 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) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.