- By Jack Torry Washington Bureau
Ohio Gov. John Kasich criticized House Republicans for releasing a GOP drafted memo accusing the FBI and Justice Department of abusing court requests for secret surveillance on campaign aides to President Donald Trump believed to be in contact with Russian officials.
By contrast, Republican members of Congress Mike Turner of Dayton, Jim Jordan of Urbana, and Bob Gibbs of Lakeville endorsed the release of the memo, with Turner saying “we entrust” the FBI and Justice Department “with incredible power. Abuses of these powers are a threat to our democracy and need to be addressed.”
In a sharply worded statement today, Kasich said “the manner in which” the memo was released “was wrong and does a disservice to our country.”
“The FBI and Department of Justice are important to our country,” Kasich said. “While we must maintain oversight of these institutions, it has to be done in a bipartisan manner – not for partisan reasons or political gain.”
It is very serious when a foreign power engages in sophisticated efforts to impact not just our elections, but elections throughout the world,” Kasich said. “Make no mistake, Russia is not an ally — they are not our friends — and they shouldn’t be treated as such. The independent investigation into Russia’s meddling in our election must continue unimpeded by outside forces from either Congress or the President.”
Kasich was among the few Republicans to criticize House Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee. The FBI and Justice Department pleaded with the White House and House Republicans not to make public the memo.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, called the memo’s release a “blatant attempt to discredit and undermine law enforcement officials who keep this country safe is not only shameful, it’s dangerous. The president and his team should cooperate with the FBI and make all their dealings with Russia public.”
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, complained that “our nation’s highest law enforcement agencies have told the president that he should not release this discredited memo. They have said it harms our national security. But this is just one more example of Donald Trump believing that the rules don’t apply to him.”