The FBI seal is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, DC on July 5, 2016. (YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)
GOP may release memo alleging FBI abuses
02:38 - Source: CNN
Washington CNN  — 

President Donald Trump is inclined to allow the memo spearheaded by Rep. Devin Nunes that alleges FBI abuses of surveillance laws to be released if the House Intelligence Committee approves it being declassified, a person familiar with the matter tells CNN.

The memo has become a conservative rallying cry, with Republicans on Capitol Hill demanding that the documents be released. Democrats argue the effort to declassify that memo is the latest attempt by conservatives to damage special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The White House disputed to CNN that the President has made a decision. White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah said there will be a full interagency and national security review and the President will be advised before making a decision.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined on Tuesday to directly say whether the Trump administration backs releasing the Nunes memo but did say that they “certainly support full transparency.”

“We certainly support full transparency and we believe that is at the House Intel committee to make that decision at this point,” Sanders said. “It sounds like there are some members in the House that have some real concerns with what is in that memo and feel very strongly that the American public should be privy to see it.”

Sanders added that she hadn’t seen the memo but plans to allow the House Intelligence Committee members to decide what releasing the document looks like.

The memo is the four-page summary of Nunes investigation into the FBI and Justice Department’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.

Trump, his White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill have repeatedly sought to undermine Mueller’s investigation ever since he was named special counsel in May. Those attacks have also led Trump and Republicans to attack the FBI and Department of Justice and the memo will likely be the next battlefront over whether the bureau has an anti-Trump bias.

Some of the same lawmakers demanding the memo be released have called on Trump to fire Mueller or for the president to force Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign.

Democrats, like Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, argue that the pressure campaign is nothing more than a partisan attempt to protect Trump.

Schiff called the memo a “profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI and its handling of the investigation.”

Update: The story and headline have been updated to reflect the White House response.

CNN’s Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb contributed to this report.