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 Nunes (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 Trump 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 Rosenstein 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 Kelly. 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.
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