‘The American people deserve better than this smear campaign
against our top federal law enforcement agencies and their leaders, and they
deserve the truth of who’s directing it’
Washington, DC – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ranking Member of the
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, released the following
statement on House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Republicans’
release of a memo containing sensitive information on FBI intelligence
gathering and alleging abuses of power by the FBI in the Russia investigation:
“This memo doesn’t come close to making a case
against the hard work and integrity of the FBI, as even those in the White
House have reportedly admitted. But its release is another troubling
development in a desperate smear campaign that seems to be gaining steam.
The White House and Chairman Nunes have stampeded through stern objections and
warnings from senior national security officials to use the dirty trick of
selectively declassifying information. That trick means the President’s
own appointees at the Justice Department and the FBI are powerless to rebut
false or misleading claims because the underlying information must remain
secret. The shield of classification becomes a sword of deception.
“Then there is the striking uniformity of
message between the White House, Chairman Nunes and fellow Congressional
Republicans, Russian social media trolls, and conservative media.
Chairman Nunes refuses to comment on whether he’s coordinated with the White
House in this effort. Russian bots have helped to promote the
#releasethememo hashtag on Twitter. The right wing has hyped the memo
relentlessly as a ‘bombshell’ and ‘explosive’. And we have known for
months the President is willing to ‘nudge’ allies on the Hill to pursue
‘investigations’ that will distract from the inquiry into his campaign’s
involvement in Russian meddling.
American people deserve better than this smear campaign against our top federal
law enforcement agencies and their leaders, and they deserve the truth of who’s