Americans Have the Right to See the Contentious House Intel Memo
Americans have the right to see a contentious memo reportedly accusing the Justice Department and FBI of misusing their authority to get a secret surveillance order on an ex-Trump campaign aide, Professor Alan Dershowitz said Monday.
The acclaimed Harvard law professor declared “transparency is the essence of democracy” in a TV interview.
Professor Dershowitz said the public must be able to see what is contained in the memo following a vote Monday by the House Intelligence Committee to send the memo to President Donald Trump to declassify.
“The American public has the right to see it, has the right to know why it’s classified, has the right to know whether it could be presented to the public redacted, with just whatever is absolutely essential to national security perhaps being redacted,” Professor Dershowitz said.
“The most important first step is to make it available so we see what’s in it, we see whether or not there were justifications, if it was used, if material was used improperly to obtain a [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] warrant. The American public is entitled to see all that . . . Let’s see it, then we can have a reasonable discussion of what it really means.
“I want to hear why it’s not being made public and why the Justice Department, or anybody else in Congress or anywhere else, is trying to keep the American public from seeing what could be an important document.”
Professor Dershowitz also weighed in the decision by the FBI’s Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to step down Monday, saying the development points up “a broader issue.”
“Are we allowed to ask people what their political affiliation is or not?” Professor Dershowitz asked, noting McCabe was reportedly asked that question by President Donald Trump.
“And the rule has to apply on both sides of the aisle,” he said. “McCabe’s wife was an active Democrat who received funding from Clinton-related sources. Should that be a disqualification? If so, it should be a disqualification on the other side of the aisle as well? We need objective rules that apply equally to both sides.”
“Those are very, very hard questions,” Professor Dershowitz added. “We have to resolve them in an objective and neutral and nonpartisan way.”
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