Paul Ryan says there "may have been malfeasance" at FBI

Ryan says there may be some problems in the FBI

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published January 30, 2018 1:12PM (EST)

Paul Ryan (AP/Susan Walsh)
Paul Ryan (AP/Susan Walsh)

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has cast his lot with the Republicans who want to discredit the FBI in order to protect President Donald Trump.

"I think we should disclose all this stuff," Ryan told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday. The press conference was regarding the House Intelligence Committee's decision to release a memorandum drafted by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., that is expected to accuse the FBI of engaging in unjustified surveillance of former Trump aide Carter Page.

"I think sources and methods we've gotta protect, no two ways about it for sure, 100 percent. But I think disclosure is the way to go. It's the best disinfectant. And I think we need to disclose, that brings us accountability, that brings us transparency, that helps us clean up any problem we have with (the Justice Department) and FBI," Ryan told reporters.

This isn't to say that Ryan wasn't careful to avoid overreaching in terms of the significance of the Nunes memorandum.

"I think because of all the loose political rhetoric floating around here, we need to make sure we explain that there is a separation between these things," Ryan told reporters in reference to the relationship between the Nunes memorandum and the larger investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Ryan's positions put him at odds with not only the Justice Department but with many of his Republican colleagues in the Senate, both of whom have opposed the publication of the Nunes memo as a reckless compromising of valuable intelligence information.

Ryan has sided with Nunes over the Justice Department on at least one other notable occasion, when he allowed the House Intelligence Committee chairman to subpoena documents pertaining to the Steele Dossier earlier this month. Nunes himself has faced considerable criticism for handling the Trump investigation in a manner that has seemed biased toward the president, particularly when he participated in an effort to manufacture a phony wiretapping scandal to distract from the Russia investigation.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Devin Nunes Donald Trump Fbi Paul Ryan Trump-russia Investigation Trump-russia Probe