Rep. Thompson: Nunes Memo Just One More Act in Republican Circus
U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), a former member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement regarding the Nunes memo:
Washington, DC – The House Select Committee on Intelligence has a long history of integrity and nonpartisanship. It has been dedicated to protecting the United States and its interests by putting national security at the forefront of its work. I was honored to be appointed to the Select Committee for eight years and to serve under three Chairmen – two Republicans and one Democrat. We worked together, putting politics aside. This collaborative partnership made it possible for us to do our job: responsible and effective legislative oversight of our intelligence community and our national policies.
To see evidence of how well the Select Committee can work, just look at the bipartisan investigation into the events in Benghazi. After listening to scores of witnesses, reviewing all available materials, and a thorough investigation, the Select Committee came to a unanimous conclusion that there was no deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama Administration. Republicans and Democrats came together in a thoughtful, thorough investigation and put partisan politics aside for an honest accounting.
We did this because we believe our national security should not be a political football. People’s lives are on the line. Our intelligence institutions should not be compromised. The partisan Benghazi committee wasted $7.8 million in taxpayer money for a partisan witch hunt which resulted in nothing but discredited talking points for conspiracy theorists. This was unnecessary, wasteful, and an abuse of Congressional resources.
However, the possible release of the Nunes talking points memo is a new low. This dangerous and unprecedented action undermines our intelligence community, could potentially reveal sources and methods, and distorts or mishandles highly classified intelligence. It is clear that this is a partisan ploy to defect or harm ongoing investigations into Russian interference in American institutions and elections.
The fact that the Republicans blocked a Democratic memo clearly shows that this is not a bipartisan search for the truth. This is just one more act in the Republican circus to block, distract, and impede the Department of Justice and Special Counsel. It is beyond an embarrassment. It is an alarming act that should shock every American.
Our intelligence and national security should never be a political tool. Just look to Mike Rogers, former Republican Congressman and Chairman of the Select Committee with whom I served. He has joined countless current and former intelligence experts in opposing the release of the memo. Further, the Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd noted that the memo is based on information neither Mr. Nunes nor most of his staff has actually seen or analyzed. (Click here for full text of letter.)
There is still time to prevent this reckless act. The FBI, Department of Justice, and leaders within the intelligence community can advise the President on the dangers this poses to our Nation. The President should not and must not approve the release of this memo.
Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and chairs the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force as well as the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.