Judiciary Dems: GOP complicit in obstruction of justice

Judiciary Dems: GOP complicit in obstruction of justice
© Greg Nash

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee said Friday that by releasing a controversial memo detailing surveillance abuses by the FBI, House Republicans are "complicit in efforts to obstruct justice."

In a statement, House Judiciary Democrats — led by ranking member Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) — called the publication of the memo an effort to "obstruct the work of the Special Counsel."

"House Republicans are now accomplices to a shocking campaign to obstruct the work of the Special Counsel, to undermine the credibility and legitimacy of the Justice Department and the FBI, and to bury the fact that a foreign adversary interfered with our last election," the statement reads. 

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“This Republican campaign is a betrayal of the American people," the statement continues. "But releasing these Nunes talking points — likely prepared in coordination with the Trump White House — constitutes a deliberate and active complicity in the Administration’s attempts to undermine the Special Counsel and the FBI."

The Democrats' statement came minutes after the House Intelligence Committee released a memo detailing abuses of surveillance power by the FBI during the 2016 election, mainly focused around the unverified Steele dossier partially funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' The problem with Trump's Middle East peace plan Trump's Intel moves spark Democratic fury MORE's campaign.
 
Republicans on the Intelligence Committee touted Friday's release in a statement, calling the memo evidence of "serious violations of public trust" committed by the FBI.
 
“The Committee has discovered serious violations of the public trust, and the American people have a right to know when officials in crucial institutions are abusing their authority for political purposes," said committee chair Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesJudge dismisses Nunes' lawsuit against Fusion GPS Trump's new intel chief makes immediate changes, ousts top official Overnight Energy: EPA moves to limit financial pressure on 'forever chemical' manufacturers | California sues Trump over water order| Buttigieg expands on climate plan MORE (R-Calif.). 
 
"Our intelligence and law enforcement agencies exist to defend the American people, not to be exploited to target one group on behalf of another."
 
The FBI released its own statement ahead of the memo's release warning about "grave concerns" about the document's accuracy.
 
“As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy," the bureau said in a statement.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE Friday afternoon authorized the release of the memo, which was compiled by Nunes's Republican staff.

Updated at 1:13 p.m.