House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Friday that the memo released by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., lays out a "specific, legitimate" concern of abuses of surveillance by the FBI and the Justice Department when it decided to surveil Carter Page, a former advisor to the Trump campaign.
"The matter of concern outlined in this memo is a specific, legitimate one," Ryan said. "Our FISA system is critical to keeping America safe from real and evolving threats. It is a unique system with broad discretion and a real impact on Americans’ civil liberties."
"Unlike most judicial proceedings, the FISA system depends not on an adversarial process, but instead on the government providing a complete presentation of the facts and circumstances underlying its warrant applications," Ryan said. "It is clear from this memo that didn’t happen in this case, and as a consequence an American’s civil liberties may have been violated."
Ryan added that he has "serious concerns" with the practice of the FBI citing political documents in their case to obtain a warrant. The dossier, which Nunes alleges was used to obtain a warrant to target Page, was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
"Amid all the political rancor, we must be able to work together to ensure the FISA system works as intended and Americans' rights are properly safeguarded," Ryan said. "I am glad that this memo helps to provide greater transparency, and I reiterate my support for the similar release of the minority’s memo once it is properly scrubbed of all intelligence sources and methods. It is critical that we focus on specific actions and specific actors and not use this memo to impugn the integrity of the justice system and FBI, which continue to serve the American people with honor."