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GOP congressman reveals House Intel Committee will release top secret FISA memo to public

A GOP congressman revealed Saturday the House Intelligence Committee will release the secret FISA memo detailing government surveillance abuses. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The secret memo detailing alleged government surveillance abuses will be released to the public soon, according to a House Republican.

What's happening?

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio) said Saturday the House Intelligence Committee "plans to begin" the release process very soon, if not immediately.

The process, he said, might take up to 19 congressional working days. According to the House's 2018 calendar, that means the earliest the document could be released is sometime in mid-March.

Source confirmed to the Washington Examiner that a meeting has taken place to discuss the memo's potential public release.

News of the memo broke last week and immediately became the top story behind the impending government shutdown. House members who have viewed the highly classified Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court document allege it provides evidence the Obama administration used the FISA court to unlawfully spy on the Trump campaign and Trump transition — something former administration officials have long denied.

Because of that, numerous GOP congressman have demanded the memo be released to the public. They allege the document could even lead to the end of special counsel Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation and to senior FBI and CIA officials being sacked.

Led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), 65 GOP lawmakers wrote to House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on Friday demanding the memo's release.

Gaetz said on Fox News Saturday that the memo will "shock the conscience of this country."

"There are four pages of a memorandum prepared by the intelligence committee that will shock the conscience of this country when it comes to the horrific abuses that occurred during the last administration and that I believe continue to pose a threat to Donald Trump’s presidency," he said.

Why does the process take so much time?

Aside from the fact that it must be reviewed by federal records reviewers given that it contains highly classified information, the memo must receive multiple levels of approval before it can be released.

On Thursday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) explained on Fox News the document's release would first need approval from the House Intelligence Committee and then President Donald Trump would have to give it the green light.

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