National Security

Booker: Releasing Nunes Memo Would Be ‘Tantamount to Treasonous’

Democratic Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) said Tuesday that releasing a Republican-written classified memo critical of the FBI and the Justice Department would be "tantamount to treasonous."

Booker made the explosive charge on the left-wing Sirius XM radio show "Make It Plain" with host Mark Thompson.

The senator accused Republicans of being a part of a "dangerous conspiracy theory" that could undermine the Justice Department and intelligence community by pushing for the four-page memo—penned by Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee—to be released.

"Well, if it's undermining, senator, ought we consider these very actions to be obstructive themselves?" Thompson asked.

"Well, obstructive, I might say tantamount to treasonous in the sense of: when you violate the intelligence community's mandates around classified documentation and what should be released, you could be betraying or, especially if you're revealing sources and methods or giving some color to sources and methods, you are actually endangering fellow Americans in the intelligence community and our ability to source intelligence," Booker said. "So, to me, this is something that could be potentially viewed as treasonous."

The memo in question accuses the FBI and the Justice Department of misusing their authority to surveil former Donald Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, according to reports.

The Justice Department has said it does not want lawmakers to publicize the memo, arguing it may expose sensitive sources and methods. Democrats have tried to prevent the GOP from releasing the memo, which may provide fuel for critics of the Russia investigation.

The House Intelligence Committee on Monday voted along party lines to allow the memo's release, giving Trump five days to decide whether to release it to the public.