WASHINGTON — The House Intelligence Committee’s dueling partisan memos about FBI surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser will result in federal agents keeping secrets to themselves because they no longer trust Congress, experts warn.
“It’s already having an impact,” said Mike Rogers, a retired Michigan Republican congressman and ex-FBI agent who chaired the committee from 2011-2014. “The intelligence community isn’t going to lie to the committees. But they’ll go into the 100-question mode: if a committee only asks three questions, they’ll leave the other 97 on the table. They’re not going to volunteer information any more.”
More: Democrats blast Trump decision to block release of Russian investigation memo
Andy Arena, former FBI agent in charge of the Detroit field office, calls it giving the “Reader’s Digest” version of a classified briefing to Congress.
“As an FBI agent, I’m going to do what I’m legally bound to do,” said Arena, who is now a professor at Western Michigan University’s Cooley Law School. “You’re going to talk to the committee, but you’re going to be cringing and you’re going to give them the short version and not get into details. You’re not going to linger and swap war stories any more.”