Devin Nunes Refuses Senators' Request To Examine Bombshell FISA Memo

Virtually every member of the House has seen the mysterious four-page classified memo drafted by Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.

But in what CNN describes as "a sign of how closely House Republicans are guarding" the infamous FISA memo - which purports to expose DOJ wrongdoing involving surveillance during the early stages in the Russia investigation, before the transition when Barack Obama was still president - Nunes has steadfastly refused to provide copies of the document to his colleagues in the Senate.

Indeed, CNN reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and his staff have not been given access to the memo. Burr has famously been much softer in terms of his rhetoric regarding the Mueller probe than his counterpart in the House.

Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican who sits on the Senate committee, confirmed to CNN that the panel had not been given access to the memo.

Here's CNN:

According to three sources familiar with the matter, Burr's staff requested a copy of the memo and has been denied, just as the FBI and Justice Department have also been denied reviewing a copy of the document. The memo is based on highly classified intelligence that only a select group of House and Senate lawmakers have accessed.

Indeed, the memo was drafted by Nunes, R-California, and his staff, as the chairman weighs whether to hold a committee vote as early as next week calling for the memo's public release.

The four-page Nunes memo alleges that the FBI withheld information from the FISA court judge who approved warrants on Donald Trump's team, including former campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, CNN has reported.

Democrats on the House Intelligence Commitee are now pushing for the release of their own memo, calling on the panel to allow the full chamber to review their document next week, saying the Nunes memo is "profoundly misleading" and an attempt to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. But many House Republicans say the American public would be alarmed by the conclusions in the Nunes memo alleging FBI misconduct.

Burr may have provoked Nunes by saying yesterday that he was willing to give the FBI the benefit of the doubt after it claimed a glitch caused it to lose 50,000 texts between special agent Peter Strzok and FBI Attorney Lisa Page.

As we pointed out yesterday, the GOP-authored memo made waves last week after it was made available to the full House of Representatives for viewing. With over 60 GOP lawmakers calling for its release, Capitol Hill sources on both sides of the aisle told a reporter for the Daily Beast that it's only a matter of time before the general public is allowed to view the document - which is likely to stoke already-inflamed tensions between GOP lawmakers and the individuals named in the leak.

According to a preliminary leak, specifically names FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

"None of the senators have access to it," Lankford added, saying "right" when asked if the committee had been denied access to the memo after making its request.

On Wednesday, Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee called for the memo to be released to the public - and many other conservatives in both the House and the Senate have echoed this demand.

"Based on what I know, I agree that as much of this information should be made public as soon as possible through the appropriate process," Grassley said.

Since Congress launched multiple investigations into Russian meddling and possible collusion involving both campaigns - each with a slightly different focus - the competing committees have received many, but not all, of the same documents requested, though the panels don't typically share information like the transcripts of their interviews, according to CNN.

Nunes and his colleagues on his committee are preparing to use an obscure rule to vote on whether the memo should be released. A 'yes' vote would kick the decision to President Trump, who is inclined to release the memo. If he refuses, the whole House will vote.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, who sits on the intelligence committee, was briefed on the memo by Nunes, but did not view the document. And Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky requested to read it and was turned down, according to Paul spokesman Sergio Gor.

"I think there's a lot of concerns about people with conflicts of interest and people who were motivated more by politics than anything else at the FBI and Department of Justice," Cornyn told CNN when asked if he was concerned about what he had been briefed on.

Democrats, unsurprisingly, have sought to discredit the memo.

"I have not seen the memo, but I think it is sloppy, careless, and again, I think has no grounding in fact," said Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has called the memo a "profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI and its handling of the investigation."

But assuming Republicans on the House Intel committee are in agreement, the memo will likely be made public in the very near future.