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 TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate 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 Jay RosensteinHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Rosenstein: 'I never pursued' trying to record Trump Trump vows to get rid of 'stench' at DOJ, FBI MORE, the top official overseeing the Russia investigation.

Kasich said Friday that the release of the memo should not hinder Special Counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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.