Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday warned against releasing a GOP-crafted classified memo that purports to show the FBI abused a surveillance program to target the Trump campaign.
“This is not the way to run a government,” Johnson said on MSNBC.
“This is the kind of thing that has to go through a process to make sure everything is considered, to make sure that declassifying information doesn’t institute damage to our relationships with foreign governments or compromise sources and methods or damage national security,” he added.
The House Intelligence Committee voted Monday night on party lines to make public a memo that Republicans say contains evidence the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) 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.
President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE indicated after his State of the Union address Tuesday that he supports releasing the memo, despite concerns from both the DOJ and FBI. Trump has not yet said whether he will release the memo.
The DOJ and FBI have both warned against making the information public. The DOJ said it would be "extraordinarily reckless," while the FBI said it has "grave concerns" about the document's accuracy.
“That’s about as serious as one could express a national security concern,” Johnson said of the bureau’s statement. “We don’t throw around phrases like that unless we’re really, really concerned about what it is people want to do."
Johnson, who served as Homeland Security secretary from 2013-2017, argued that the FBI could not simply obtain a surveillance warrant, but would have to get a judge’s approval.