Meadows on memo release: Constitutional obligation ‘to inform the American people’

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsDarrell Issa eyes return to Congress Oversight Republicans: 'Hundreds' of migrants in caravans have criminal histories FBI, warned early and often that Manafort file might be fake, used it anyway MORE (R-N.C.) on Thursday brushed off concerns from the FBI and Democrats over releasing a classified, Republican-crafted memo, saying House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesHillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Lawmakers grapple with deepfake threat at hearing Intel hearing showcases political divide over Mueller report MORE (R-Calif.) has a “constitutional duty” to inform people what’s in the document.

“I had a lengthy conversation with Chairman Nunes last night. He stands by the memo. I stand by him in his constitutional duty to actually inform the American people,” Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said on “Fox & Friends.”

The House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines Monday night to make the memo public. Republicans say it contains evidence the FBI and Department of Justice misused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and were biased against the Trump campaign.


The document reportedly contains allegations the FBI abused a surveillance program to target a Trump campaign official during the 2016 presidential race.

The decision to release the memo now lies with President Trump, who indicated after his State of the Union address Tuesday that he will make the document public, despite concerns from his Justice Department and the FBI.

The Justice Department has warned making the memo public would be "extraordinarily reckless," while the FBI said it has "grave concerns" about the document's accuracy.

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff would support impeachment if White House ignores a final court decision on documents, testimony US finds itself isolated in Iran conflict House Intelligence Committee to subpoena Trump associate Felix Sater MORE (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday night that Nunes altered the document before sending it the White House for review.

Democrats have also argued against releasing the memo and have created a document of their own to counter the GOP memo.

Despite those concerns, Meadows said Thursday that the Republican memo should be released and should include specifics and agent's names.

“[Nunes] has a constitutional obligation to notify members of Congress if there has been FISA abuses. So I applaud him in that effort and really the American people need to see this and judge for themselves,” Meadows said.

“I think that the American people want to make sure that lady justice has a blindfold, and it’s not just the well connected that get off because they wouldn’t if they were under the same set of circumstances,” he added.