White House aides worried FBI chief could quit if memo released: report

Some White House officials are worried FBI Director Christopher Wray may quit his post if the classified intelligence memo authored by Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesTrump pushing to declassify document disputing intel findings on Russia: report Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 Democrat Arballo gains on Nunes: internal poll MORE (R-Calif.) is made public, according to a new report. 

A senior law enforcement official told CNN that Wray feels his advice to not release the memo has been ignored by President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE and that his objection to the memo’s release is being portrayed as a symptom of the allegedly partisan leadership at the FBI.

Another source told CNN that Wray has not threatened to resign if the memo is released, but said his position is “raising hell.”

Trump is planning to approve the release of the memo to the public in the next few days, according to multiple reports.


Both Wray, who was appointed by Trump last year, and 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 reportedly warned the White House this week against releasing the classified memo after Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted to make the memo public.

The two men made the plea during a meeting with White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE. Wray reportedly didn’t threaten to quit during the meeting, but Kelly believes his departure is a real possibility and is working to stop it, according to CNN. 

One source told CNN the White House hopes making redactions to the memo will calm tensions with Wray. But other officials told the network that redactions likely won’t be enough to ease Wray’s concerns because the FBI has doubts about the accuracy of the document.

On Wednesday, the FBI issued a rare public statement warning against the expected release of the memo, saying it has “grave concerns” about its contents. 

House Republicans have clamored for the release of the document, saying it contains evidence of bias against Trump in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as allegations that the DOJ abused a surveillance program in its surveillance of Trump campaign staffer Carter Page.

The memo was compiled based on classified documents provided to a House committee by the Department of Justice.

Democrats have authored their own document rebutting the Republican memo, but Republican members of the Intel panel voted against its release earlier this week.