You Don’t Need to Know What’s in the Nunes Memo to Worry About Its Release

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Media Outlet: Just Security

Joshua Geltzer wrote for Just Security on the memo released by Devin Nunes and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence:

I don’t know what the Nunes memo says. I also don’t know if the press reports accurately recount the state of affairs in terms of how the executive branch might approach the memo’s release; indeed, even according to those reports, the president’s directive was conveyed to Sessions almost a week ago, and yet the House Intelligence Committee still hasn’t voted on whether to release the memo, though a vote may occur as soon as Monday evening. But, as a former government national security lawyer, I think it’s important to emphasize that, if the executive branch were to follow the process that has been reported—i.e., allowing the Congress to release the memo without any executive branch classification review—it would be deeply problematic.


Joshua Geltzer is an ASU Future of War Fellow at New America. He is writing a book exploring challenges associated with modern communications technologies such as social media platforms, file-upload sites, and internet search engines.