Congressman Peter King meeting Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, in Washington last fall.
By Ray O’Hanlon
While much of the attention, and criticism, has been directed at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes – this over the release of a memo focused on the Russia probe – Congressman Peter King has been one of the main movers behind the decision to make the memo public.
The Long Island representative – the GOP’s leading figure when it comes to addressing issues of specific Irish American concern – holds the number three majority position on the committee behind Nunes, who is from California, and Rep. Mike Conaway from Texas.
The memo has been dran up exclusively by Republican members of the intelligence panel.
In a statement headed “Congressman Pete King Leads Effort to Make Committee Memo on FISA Abuses Public,” Rep. King stated that he had “made the Motion to have the Intelligence Committee make public the Memorandum containing classified executive session material detailing FISA Court surveillance abuses by the FBI and Justice Department.”
FISA refers to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Stated King in a release: “The Motion passed by a 12-9 vote. The Memorandum now goes to the President who has 5 days to decide whether to release the Memorandum to the public.”
King said that the procedure the committee and he had followed “was in full compliance with House and Committee rules.
“Despite objections from the Justice Department, the FBI and Democrats no information in this Memorandum will jeopardize national security. In fact the Memo was shown to the FBI Director on Sunday and two top FBI officials designated by him on Monday.”
King said that he had not taken his action lightly.
“As a Member of the Intelligence Committee for almost 8 years I take seriously the obligation to protect our nation's most sensitive secrets.
“That is why I made sure nothing released would damage our national security while releasing evidence of abuses of power the American people have the right to know.
“I also want to make clear my belief that 99.9% of the brave and dedicated men and women of the FBI do an outstanding job. My objection is to a small number at the top.
“There are moments in history when strong action must be taken. This vote in the Intelligence Committee was one of those moments.”