Report: Wray Opposes Release of Nunes Memo

440px-Chris_Wray_official_photoAccording to Bloomberg, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the White House he opposes the release of controversial four-page memo from the House Intelligence Committee.  What is notable about the report is that the objection is allegedly due to what Wray views as a false and inaccurate narrative. However, that should not be a reason alone to classify and withhold a document under Rule X.


When Wray read the memo, House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes asked him to identify anything false or inaccurate.

The report adds to the controversy created by a comment by President Donald Trump on his way out of the State of the Union last night.  While the White House indicated that the President had not reviewed the document, he was captured on tape telling Representative Jeff Duncan, a South Carolina Republican, that it was  “100 percent” that he would release the memo.

As I discussed in my column today in the Hill, the use of Rule X to declassify a document is a long-overdue use of the Committee authority given complaints that the agencies routinely use classified status to bury embarrassing or incriminating material.  It would be highly problematic if Wray wanted to keep the memo classified simply because he did not agree with the conclusion or viewed them as inaccurate.

What is curious is that the fact of the FISA order is now public knowledge as is the target.  It is not clear why such information would be deemed so classified as to bar declassification or release.


208 thoughts on “Report: Wray Opposes Release of Nunes Memo”

  1. I find it discouraging that the new FBI director would want to keep the information in the FISA memo secret.

    From what I have heard, this act referenced in the memo was a gross violation of the law, similar to what happened in Watergate, but with one major difference that makes it worse: This was a case where government officials spied on an opposition candidate, rather than just hiring out the help.

    Actions like this were par for the course in the former Soviet Union and other countries under the influence of Moscow after World War II, but were not to be actions taking place in the United States.

    I have a few questions that Mr. Wray should be required to answer if he maintains the position that the memo should not be released:

    1. Do you believe the actions described in the memo happened?
    2. Do you have the ability to conduct an honest investigation into the issues described in the memo, including the possible investigation of those who may be named who work in the Bureau?
    3. Do you believe that conducting a behind-the-scenes investigation can be conducted fairly, and will reveal all the facts?
    4. If you conduct an investigation, do you promise that the results will be made available to the American public?
    5. If there are those within the Bureau who broke laws, will you recommend prosecution?

    There may be a few more questions that should be directed at Mr. Wray on this serious matter, but I think these would make a good start.

  2. The FBI has more skeletons in its closet than the Catholic Church. This is a federal agency trying to usurp the power of the President out of fear of what we Americans will see. The President has the power to disclose ANYTHING he wants. They have been leaking like a sieve the last year. It is ironic, Obama promised to have “the most transparent administration.” He was worse than Nixon. This Prez, no matter you think of him IS being transparent and doing it the correct way. Don’t forget, this illegal surveillance was conducted under Obama the Drone King and hacker and wiretap of reporters.

  3. Turley said, ” It would be highly problematic if Wray wanted to keep the memo classified simply because he did not agree with the conclusion or viewed them as inaccurate.

    What is curious is that the fact of the FISA order is now public knowledge as is the target. It is not clear why such information would be deemed so classified as to bar declassification or release.”

    Surely Turley knows that the issue is not the disclosure of the classified information upon which Ninny-Na-Na Nunes based his memo. The issue is that Ninny-Na-Na Nunes’ memo commits errors of omission that cannot be corrected without disclosing additional classified information the revelation of which would damage the national security of The United States. Trump will not declassify the additional information necessary to correct the errors of omission that Ninny-Na-Na Nunes’ memo commits. This necessarily means that Trump is knowingly using the power of The POTUS to present a false narrative of the Russia investigation to the American people. And that is why FBI Director Wray objects to the release of Ninny-Na-Na Nunes’ memo.

    P. S. Trump has crossed The Rubicon.

    1. Do you even know the significance of the term crossing the Rubicon? Or do you just parrot things to seem learned?

      Look up what happened when Julius Caesar crossed it and burned his boats, cutting off all retreat.

      1. ti317 – you are mixing metaphors. Caesar rode across the Rubicon, which is very small and did not need a boat. In fact, he rode right into Rome, there was nothing in his way. Pompey and his forces fled to where they could build an army to fight him.

      2. Julius Caesar’s crossing the Rubicon was an event in 49 BC that precipitated the Roman Civil War, which ultimately led to Caesar’s becoming dictator for life and the rise of the imperial era of Rome. Caesar had been appointed to a governorship over a region that ranged from southern Gaul to Illyricum (but not Italy). As his term of governorship ended, the Roman Senate ordered Caesar to disband his army and return to Rome. He was explicitly ordered not to bring his army across the Rubicon river, which was at that time a northern boundary of Italy. In January of 49 BC, Caesar brought the 13th legion across the river, an act that was considered insurrection, treason, and a declaration of war upon the Roman Senate. According to some authors, he is said to have uttered the phrase “alea iacta est” — the die is cast — as his army marched through the shallow river.

        The phrase “crossing the Rubicon” is today often used as an idiom to mean passing a point of no return.

    2. FBI Director Wray can declassify additional material, if in fact there are “errors of omission”.

      1. Declassifying the additional information necessary to correct the errors of omission in Ninny-Na-Na Nunes memo would damage the national security of The United States. The Director of the FBI will not do that. And Trump knows it.

        1. L4D,..
          That is the claim…”that it would damage the national security of the United States”.
          How would it cause that damage…you insisted on an answer to that question re the memos that Comey sent to his friend Richman, so it’s only fair now that you tell us how the U.S.’s “national security” would be damaged by the release of additional information “to correct the errors of omission”.

          1. Tom Nash, I was questioning Turley’s belief that Comey’s memos were classified in the first place. IMO, they were not. There is, evidently, no doubt that the information upon which Ninny-Na-Na Nunes’ memo is based “was” classified information. You do see the difference; don’t you, Tom? Fine then. I’ll spell it out for you again:

            In order for information to be classified, the original classification authority has to identify and describe damage to the national security done by disclosure of the information.

            It’s extremely doubtful that disclosure of Comey’s memos did any damage to the national security. Therefore, it’s doubtful that those of Comey’s memos that were disclosed were classified in the first place. Meanwhile, I doubt that release of Ninny-Na-Na- Nunes memo will do very much damage to national security. But disclosure of the classified information necessary to correct the errors of omission in Ninny-Na-Na Nunes’ memo might very well do damage to the national security. And if I’m wrong about that, then Trump should declassify that information as well. Just don’t hold your breath while waiting for that, Tom.

            1. L4D,…
              – I’ll have to recheck JT’s column to see if he stated his “belief that Comey’s memos “were classified in the first place”.
              I thought he quoted sources that stated that they were classified, but I’ll have to check to be sure.
              I think it was in that same thread that I mentioned Sen. Grassley’s Jan. 3, 2017 letter to DOJ requesting additional infirmation on those memos.
              Grassley’s understandering is that 4 of the 7 memos were marked “Secret or Confidential”….Grassley is not likely to have made that request of DOJ unless he, as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committe, had a pretty strong basis for specifying the number of memos in question, and the levels of classification.
              As far as I l know, DOJ hasn’t responded to Grassley.
              If and when they do, there can be a high level of certainty as to which memos were sent by Comey to Prof. Richman, and the level(s) of classification.
              It’s one of the many “unknowns” at this time, and if there’s an extended delay in a response from DOJ, or no response, it’s just another examplevof why these investigations drag on and on.
              I’m not holding my breath waiting for any timely resolution to this, and other issues.
              I’m also not going to make claims that the a distorted record will emerge, and that the record can’t be challenged because to correct “the errors of omission” would “damage the national security interest”.

        2. “Declassifying the additional information “…”would damage the national security of The United States. ”

          You say this with such authority as if you have already read all the FBI material on the subject. What BS. Once again you have drawn a conclusion that is only a very weak theory the problems of which can probably be easily managed.

          1. Mr. Schindler has evidently already seen the “Nunes memo”, so he may have an inside track on this story.
            I don’t know if Schindler had security clearance when he taught at the War College, of if he retained it when he left that position under pressure.
            If he has not seen the memo, then it might be through his psychic abilities that he determined that the memo is “dodgy”, and designed to “screw the FBI”.
            He also knows that we’re “entering a. new, chaotic phase from which there is no return for POTUS”.
            And he us as “certain” of that as other experts who claim that the Mueller investigation will turn up nothing that seriously damages Trump’s presidency.

          2. Well if means Mueller will now investigate illegal surveillance of Carter Page and the Trump campaign by the FBI, then enter we shall!!

          3. Thanks swarthmoremom. They know I’m not allowed to know what they’re demanding to now from me. It’s the same fan-dance performed by Ninny-Na-Na- Nunes’ memo.

            P. S. Under E. O. 13526, the original classification authority has to identify and describe damage done to the national security from disclosure of information in order to classify that information in the first place. E. O. 13526 was posted by somebody the other day on the thread about Comey’s ethics class at William and Mary. The post was held to be “ponderous” by the same commentator who thinks Julius Ceasar and the Thirteenth Legion crossed the Rubicon in boats that they afterward burnt.

            Oh! That same commentator accused me of “pretending to be learned.” Covfefe. Enjoy.

            1. L4D,..
              – YOU made the claim that additional material could “to correct errors of omission” would “damage the national security of the United States”, and then you complain that you’re ” not allowed to know what they’re demanding to know from me”.
              Either don’t make a claim like that, or be prepared to back it up.

        3. Since da new Nunez memo is different than da one da committee voted on do’nt they need another vote?

          1. I hadn’t heard that, Ken. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll have to get back to you on the voting question.

      1. Ken – my understanding is that both sides wrote a summary of the findings of the committee. Nunes can certainly modify the findings to mollify the FBI.

    1. The American people should back the FBI, 100%, at this time. Of paramount importance, shutting down the clear and present danger Russia presents to American sovereignty. The dark money, including that of the Koch’s, allowed by Citizen’s United, must be investigated by a strong federal agency. And, when criminal acts are found, prosecuted by a strong judiciary.

      1. Well, the Bureau has such a stellar record of being apolitical, ya know.

        “But in the Hoover years, the bureau was a deeply political instrument. Hoover’s personal crusade against communists, real and imagined, his targeting of antiwar and civil rights activists, and his use of F.B.I. files to pressure or blackmail other officials — sometimes including presidents — defined the bureau for decades.”

        And bureaucracies (especially state police) always evolve for the better, right?

        1. Mespo,…
          – They are to be backed “100 %”, when the target of their investigations is someone you oppose politicly.

          1. Americans morally oppose the hostile, repressive government of Putin and should be strenuously fighting it politically, especially when politicians like Trump, Nunes and Rohrbacher carry the banner for Russia. Media that backs the American government of the people, by the people, and for the people should expose and condemn attempts by the Kremlin to subvert U.S. democracy. Unfortunately, the oligarch media, i.e. Fox, A.M. radio, Washington Times, Infowars, Zero Hedge,…work to impoverish U.S. labor, divide the nation’s people and to threaten the nation’s stability.

  4. If Dir. Wray thinks more info should be added to the Memo to make it more self-contained and accurate, he can ask to have the info added. But, he shouldn’t be allowed to delay more than 24 hours. The FBI stonewalled for an entire year!

      1. If the unnamed “source” alluded to in Ninny-Na-Na Nunes’ memo is embarrassing to, or, worse, incriminates the FBI or DOJ, then there ought not to be any redactions. If, however, the revelation of that “source’s” name neither embarrasses nor incriminates the FBI or DOJ, then the name of that “source” should be redacted.

  5. There is no reason to withhold the information. In fact, this should be only a start for things like this don’t happen when there is transparency.

    People like James O’Keefe create transparency and in doing so irk those people that want to hide from sunlight because what they are doing shouldn’t be done. He just wrote a book American Pravda and below is his speech to journalists and others. An excellent speech that outlines the need for more openness in the government, newsmedia, and elsewhere.

    I urge everyone interested in “fairness” to listen to this audio.

  6. I am absolutely flabbergasted that we have large segments of the media arguing that information should be withheld from the public for our own good, or for the good of our institutions.

    This all while a movie about the Washington Post publishing unvetted classified information in the form of the Pentagon Papers, is being hailed as a story of heroism.

    Ron Desantis has stated that the FBI told the intel committee that the memo had factual errors but when pressed, couldn’t list one.

    We have CNN crying that this is an assault on law enforcement. The same CNN that has for years smeared rank and file cops as waging war on black men, and lionized Keapernick.

    1. But it’s not about transparency and serving the public. It is a deliberately cynical, manipulative technique designed to mislead the public and to protect the president. If it were about transparency, the HIC would have arranged for the majority AND the minority reports to be published simultaneously so experts and the public could view them at the same time.

      This is just a PR scheme to prevent the D memo from being released until the R memo has thoroughly poisoned the well.

      1. How do you know? Transparency might consist of “We (FBI) thoroughly investigated whether the Trump Campaign conspired in any way with the Russians to tilt the electorate or the election, and found none.
        That said, the Russians ran a sophisticated, multifaceted operation to interfere, to inject chaos, to groom an inside track with the Trump inner circle. The Trump campaign deflected these attempts. And, though there is no definitive proof, there is no compelling reason to think the electorate was swayed by the info-warfare ops. Conclusion: the “collusion” suspicions were fully investigated, and found to be purely speculative.

        That kind of Memo would be a bombshell to the Dem psyche. And that doesn’t even get to the possible misconducts Strzok, Page and Andy made.

  7. nuff said #releasethememo the public can handle it after all the we’ve thus far been subjected to – and hey Congress, we’d like the entire documents as well.

  8. An FBI fellow named Peter
    Was seen as a pro-Clinton cheater,
    Yet far from abet her
    He drafted the letter
    That probably helped to defeat her.

    A twitter response to the story on Peter Strzok

      1. forgot this

        “When it comes to legalese, sometimes a small turn of phrase can make a big, big difference.

        So when Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information was described by then-FBI Director James Comey as “extremely careless” instead of “grossly negligent,” which had reportedly been in the original draft language, it was the difference between mere criticism and actual criminal penalties for the then-Democratic presidential nominee.

        Until Monday, we knew a change had been made but we didn’t know who had actually suggested it, given that such drafts are team efforts and get input from a lot of people.

        But now, thanks to a CNN source, we finally know the name of the FBI agent who suggested that change – Peter Strzok, the very same agent who was just removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation for “anti-Trump bias.”

        Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.”


      1. LOL. I almost feel sorry for them except that I don’t.

        Imagine that: the guy who was supposed to be part of a secret society and wanted to destroy Trump’s chances turns out to be the guy who wanted to reopen the investigation into Clinton’s emails that materially helped hand the election to Trump. The Chinese factory that makes the MAGA hats should start making them out of tin foil.

        1. “the guy who wanted to reopen the investigation into Clinton’s emails”.
          That’s a real interesting spin, given Strzok’s role in protecting Hillary from the possibility of any criminal charges ( scratch “gross negligence” and call it “extreme carelessness”) and his obvious preference for the coronation of Hillary.
          I don’t think the investigation of some of the top level FBI officials is over.
          It shouldn’t be over, because the reputation of that agency is as low as it’s been in 40+years.
          When people like St. James Comey bemoan the damage to the FBI, they should look in the mirror rather than point fingers at their critics.
          The Inspector General’s report is supposed to be made public, maybe in the near future.
          One reason cited in news reports for McCabe’s early exit was that he knew about the Hillary emails on Huma/ Weiner’s laptop ONE MONTH before the investigation was reopened in late October, 2016.
          At this point, we don’t know if McCabe was the ONLY senior FBI official to have knowledge of the laptop emails in September.
          He is the one cited in press accounts, and Strzok is said to have encouraged the reopening of the investigation in late October.
          Ultimate approval had to come from Director Comey, but we don’t know at this point if Comey and/ or Strzok “just found out about it” in late October.
          We know that McCabe is gone, Strzok is “re-assigned” to Human Resourses, and I think James Baker has been demoted as well.
          It looks like Director Wray and the IG are doing all of the right things.
          But our knowledge of the full complicity of the senior DOJ and FBI officials in predetermining the outcome of the Hillary email “matter” is far from complete, and rebuilding the reputation of the FBI will take some time.
          I realize that, for those of you who have blind faith in the FBI, no such process is necessary.
          It’s relatively easy to try to scoff away any suggestion to the contrary.
          There is also a large segment of the population that don’t agree with those who blithely dismiss their legimate concerns.

    1. we don’t need conspiracy theories – the real life crimes committed by the Clintons & Co. are verifiable. And then there are all those dead folks………..

      His name was Seth Rich

      1. Autumn, this one’s even better – Abbot Labs had and has as much to lose as Hillary Clinton et al. See if you’ve ever heard of the “disease” herein. Rago won a Pulitzer reporting the defects in Obamacare. Veropharm was scheduled to produce drugs for mandatory use under Obamacare. Sounds like a whole lot of money, had Hillary won and Obamacare persisted. Things didn’t quite work out under the Hillary victory.


        Joseph Rago –

        “Wall Street Journal Reporter Asks Russia For “Clinton Information” —-Turns Up DEAD 2 Days Later”

        “A Wall Street Journal Editor who was investigating how a Russian
        Pharmaceutical firm could have been purchased in 2014 by an American
        Pharmaceutical firm while Sanctions against Russia existed against such
        business transactions, has been found dead in his New York City
        apartment. The crux of the dead journalists investigation was how
        then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton influenced the transaction to be
        finalized, but only AFTER her husband Bill was paid $500,000 for giving
        a speech in Moscow.

        The Russia Consulate General’s office in New York City was contacted
        by Wall Street Journal reporter/editor Joseph Rago who requested a
        Thursday (20 July) in person interview with consular officials regarding
        an upcoming article he was preparing on Hillary Clinton and her links
        to Russia. Rago failed to attend the meeting and was later discovered
        dead in his apartment of as yet “unknown causes” just hours prior to
        this meeting occurring.”

      2. We don’t need conspiracy theories said the person who then jumped headfirst into conspiracy theories about dead people.

        1. so all the people associated with Clinton & Co who died is just a conspiracy theory? Thank God for Wikileaks – now if they could just get their hands on the FISA memo and underlying documents!

      3. Autumn, Joseph Rago “died”, just coincidentally, of an unknown “disease” as he was exposing a nefarious deal involving a Clinton and a PHARMACEUTICAL company. Remember, pharmaceutical companies DO “disease” and Clintons DO bribes (i.e. chicken “futures”).


        Joseph Rago: Cause Of Death Released For Wall Street Journal Writer Found Dead In NYC
        The young Pulitzer Prize winner was discovered dead in his East Village apartment in July, after his editors reported him missing from work.

        EAST VILLAGE, NY — After nearly three months of investigation, the NYC Medical Examiner has announced a cause of death for Joseph Rago, the prodigious young Wall Street Journal editorial writer found dead in his East Village apartment on July 20. He was only 34.

        “The cause of death is sarcoidosis involving lungs, heart, spleen, hilar and mediastinal lymph nodes,” Julie Bolcer, director of communications for the Medical Examiner, said in an email Tuesday. “The manner of death is natural.”

        From the beginning, the NYPD didn’t suspect foul play. Rago was found “with no obvious signs of trauma,” the Journal reported at the time. (For more local news, sign up to receive Patch’s newsletters and alerts for your NYC neighborhood.)

        Sarcoidosis, which causes severe inflammation of the organs, is still relatively mysterious to doctors.

        According to the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research: “Despite the best efforts of researchers for more than a century working to better understand the complexities of this disease, sarcoidosis remains difficult to diagnose with limited therapies. Many patients suffer for years before arriving at the correct diagnosis or discovering the best treatment plan.”

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