The House Intelligence Committee’s release of a memo declassified Friday by President Donald Trump alleging a government cover-up creates a dangerous precedent of partisans politicizing the government’s secrets, according to veterans of the intelligence world.

“There is no precedent for this: to take a memorandum about the FISA application process, write a memo, vote it out on party lines — and then clearly there was some coordination with the White House,” said Michael Allen, a former staff director for the committee under then-Chairman Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican.

Stephen Stigall, who worked on cases requiring FISA court authorization as a lawyer in the U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey, suggested the precedent set by House Republicans could lead to politics being prioritized over national security interests in the handling of U.S. secrets.

“If this starts to be a way to force declassification and analyze only parts and not the whole, then you’re running the risk every time of revealing any source or method and then allowing other aspects that have nothing to do with the law to take over,” said Stigall.

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