British Intelligence officials are desperate to convince the Trump White House to not declassify the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) wiretap application which allowed the FBI to spy on former Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page, according to the Telegraph.
U.S. and Australian officials are also against the declassification, with the British intelligence chiefs saying it would expose sources and methods.
British spy chiefs have “genuine concern” about sources being exposed if classified parts of the wiretap request were made public, according to figures familiar with discussions.
“It boils down to the exposure of people”, said one US intelligence official, adding: “We don’t want to reveal sources and methods.” US intelligence shares the concerns of the UK.
Another said Britain feared setting a dangerous “precedent” which could make people less likely to share information, knowing that it could one day become public.
In September, 12 House Republicans called on President Trump to declassify the FISA renewal application for Carter Page, in which–they claim–the FBI and DOJ withheld exculpatory evidence from the secret court.
Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY) said at the time, “Powers were abused, the FISA court was misled, and we have zero tolerance for any of it. The government has a responsibility not only to provide its best evidence in support of its application but also the best evidence it has against its case. In this case, the DOJ failed to do so.”
Over the weekend, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) called on the Department of Justice to declassify more FBI and DOJ emails relating to the FISA court, telling Fox News, “For months we have been reviewing emails between FBI, and DOJ, and others that clearly show that they knew about information that should have been presented to the FISA court,” he said. “So it is real evidence that people within the FBI withheld evidence from the FISA court.”
Nunes said that even House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) requested that the DOJ to release the emails.