Congressman Cohen on Review of Intelligence Memos
WASHINGTON – Before leaving Washington for Memphis, Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) reviewed the controversial Republican House Intelligence Committee memo ascribed to California Rep. Devin Nunes, as well as the Committee Democrats’ response memo, and released the following statement:
“Because material in the Intelligence Committee memos remains classified, I can’t say very much about them, but I can compare them in terms of persuasiveness, and by that measure, the Nunes memo is a dismal failure.
“It’s like comparing an A-quality essay with a D-minus effort. Where Nunes’ memo is brief, undocumented and fails to provide data germane to the case it purports to make, the Democrats’ response is in-depth, thorough, complete, and fully annotated.
“I concur with the intelligence community, including the FBI and its Republican-appointed Director, Christopher Wray, that the release of the Nunes memo would be harmful to national security and intelligence gathering and put the country at risk. Doing so for purely political reasons is totally irresponsible, especially since it appears that it is being done at the direction of the Trump White House in an effort to muddy the growing evidence of connections between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.
“In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Donald Trump referred to ‘America’ or ‘Americans’ 82 times, but allowing the release of this memo is not defending this country; it’s more a form of the ‘agitprop’ for which Russia is well known. Trump is deliberately sowing confusion in an effort to defend himself against strong evidence of his obstruction of justice and his campaign’s connections to Russia. The Nunes memo is intended to confuse and to cast aspersions on the Mueller investigation, the Justice Department and FBI in their criminal probe.
“I will address these issues in more detail when, as I suspect, the Nunes memo is made public.”