U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he thinks it’s a good idea to re­lease the con­tentious se­cret memo,

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Maria Re­cio Amer­i­can-States­man spe­cial cor­re­spon­dent Con­tact Maria Re­cio at mwre­cio@gmail.com. Twit­ter: @mari­a_e_re­cio

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas said Tues­day the con­tentious se­cret mem­o­ran­dum on the FBI’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Rus­sia should be made pub­lic.

The House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee rec­om­mended it be re­leased, de­spite Jus­tice Depart­ment warn­ings that do­ing so would be reck­less, and now Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has un­til the end of the week to de­cide whether to make it pub­lic. The panel’s chair­man, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., au­thored the four page memo, which has roiled Democrats and Repub­li­cans, and the com­mit­tee vote was along party lines.

“I haven’t seen the memo,” Cornyn, a mem­ber of the Se­nate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, told re­porters Tues­day. “I have been briefed on it and I do be­lieve that there is rea­son to be­lieve that this is an im­por­tant part of the restora­tion of the FBI’s rep­u­ta­tion.”

At is­sue for many Repub­li­cans is how the FBI dealt with in­for­ma­tion from a dossier about Trump’s re­la­tion­ship with the Rus­sians. A spe­cial coun­sel is now in­ves­ti­gat­ing the med­dling of Rus­sians in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

“And I do think, just on what’s al­ready been in the pub­lic, the Amer­i­can peo­ple have some rea­son to be­lieve that there was mis­con­duct there that should be cor­rected and hope­fully the FBI and the Depart­ment of Jus­tice will ul­ti­mately re­gain their rep­u­ta­tion as an ob­jec­tive law en­force­ment agency, and not one en­gaged in pol­i­tics,” Cornyn said. The FBI comes un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of the Jus­tice Depart­ment.

“So, if in the judg­ment of the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, they think this will help in that process, I sup­port it,” said Cornyn of re­leas­ing the memo.

Cornyn, the No. 2 Se­nate Repub­li­can and a for­mer Texas at­tor­ney gen­eral and Texas Supreme Court jus­tice, was be­lieved to be an early fa­vorite to re­place fired FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey.

Asked if he had turned down the FBI di­rec­tor job last May, Cornyn said, “I was never of­fered the job. I was con­sid­ered for the job but, in the end, I told the pres­i­dent that I would be more help­ful to his ad­min­is­tra­tion and cer­tainly to Texas by stay­ing in the Se­nate, par­tic­u­larly given my po­si­tion as the ma­jor­ity whip. And I think that pre­dic­tion’s been borne out, at least in my opin­ion.”

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell, R-Ky., and other GOP sen­a­tors usu­ally al­lied with Cornyn were against hav­ing Cornyn, a par­ti­san po­lit­i­cal fig­ure, take over the FBI.

“I be­lieve Christo­pher Wray is a great choice for FBI di­rec­tor, and I think he’s do­ing what we would ex­pect ev­ery FBI di­rec­tor to do, and that’s to make sure that pol­i­tics has no in­flu­ence on the ac­tiv­i­ties of the FBI,” Cornyn said.

PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS / AP

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he has not seen the con­tentious se­cret mem­o­ran­dum on the FBI’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Rus­sia pre­pared by a House panel, but he has been briefed on it and sees value in re­leas­ing it.

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