Sessions responds to Nunes memo: ‘No department is perfect’
Attorney General Jeff Sessions responded on Friday to the release of a contentious memo by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee alleging intelligence abuses at the Justice Department, saying “no Department is perfect.”
In a statement issued shortly after the memo’s release, Sessions acknowledged GOP concerns about Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI officials’ actions, but said he remained confident in the agency’s employees.
“Congress has made inquiries concerning an issue of great importance for the country and concerns have been raised about the Department’s performance,” he said. “I have great confidence in the men and women of this Department. But no Department is perfect.”
Sessions said he would ensure the DOJ addresses the concerns raised in the memo, which accuses FBI and Justice Department officials of misusing their authority to obtain a secret surveillance warrant on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.
“Accordingly, I will forward to appropriate DOJ components all information I receive from Congress regarding this,” he said. “I am determined that we will fully and fairly ascertain the truth.
“We work for the American people and are accountable to them and those they have elected. We will meet that responsibility.”
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, led by Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), made the memo public on Friday after President Trump approved its release. They argued that doing so was necessary because it shed light on the origins of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling.
But Democrats and the FBI raised concerns about the memo’s accuracy ahead of its release, saying it omitted key information that would have helped put its contents into the proper context.
“The Republican document mischaracterizes highly sensitive classified information that few members of Congress have seen, and which Chairman Nunes himself chose not to review,” House Intelligence Democrats said in a statement.
“It fails to provide vital context and information contained in DOJ’s [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] application and renewals, and ignores why and how the FBI initiated, and the Special Counsel has continued, its counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s election interference and links to the Trump campaign,” the statement continued.