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Kasich: Memo release does 'disservice to our country'

Kasich: Memo release does 'disservice to our country'
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Republican Gov. John Kasich (Ohio) on Friday condemned the release of a House Intelligence Committee memo which alleges the Justice Department abused its powers to hurt President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rages against '60 Minutes' for interview with Krebs Cornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Pa. lawmaker was informed of positive coronavirus test while meeting with Trump: report MORE's campaign.

Kasich called the release of the memo a “disservice to our country,” and that holding the FBI and Justice Department accountable should be a bipartisan responsibility, not one for “political gain.”

“While we must maintain oversight of these institutions, it has to be done in a bipartisan manner,” Kasich said in the statement. “The manner in which this was done was wrong and does a disservice to our country.”

The House Intelligence Committee on Friday released the Republican-drafted memo after President Trump declassified it without redactions despite strong objections from Democrats and top Justice Department and intelligence officials.

The memo alleges anti-Trump bias in the FBI and Justice Department, accusing officials of improperly using opposition research to obtain a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

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The FBI and Justice Department strongly opposed the release of the memo, arguing that it omits facts and necessary context.

Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee have drafted their own memo, which the White House said Friday it was open to releasing.

The GOP memo has sparked widespread speculation that Trump may use it as a pretext to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump turns his ire toward Cabinet members Ex-deputy attorney general says Justice Dept. 'will ignore' Trump's threats against political rivals The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House MORE, the top official overseeing the Russia investigation.

Kasich said Friday that the release of the memo should not hinder 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's Russia probe.

“It is very serious when a foreign power engages in sophisticated efforts to impact not just our elections, but elections throughout the world,” he said. “Make no mistake, Russia is not an ally — they are not our friends — and they shouldn’t be treated as such.

“The independent investigation into Russia’s meddling in our election must continue unimpeded by outside forces from either Congress or the President,” Kasich added.