FISA Surveillance Memo 'Far Worse Than Watergate,' Sean Hannity Claims

Fox News's Sean Hannity has railed against the Department of Justice numerous times before. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Fox News host Sean Hannity opened his program Thursday night by detailing purported abuses of power "far worse than Watergate" and calling on FBI special counsel Robert Mueller to immediately end his "witch hunt" investigations.

Related: What is the FISA Act? Trump slams then supports surveillance provision

A four-page memo circulating in Congress reportedly details abuse and misuse of government authority under the Foreign Intelligence Service Act (FISA). On Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee voted in favor of a motion to circulate the memo to every member of the House. The vote went along party lines, with all Democrats voting no.

"Our sources are telling us that the abuse of power is far bigger than Watergate," Hannity said Thursday night. "What we're talking about tonight is the systematic abuse of power, the weaponizing of those powerful tools of intelligence and the shredding of our Fourth Amendment constitutional rights."

Republican Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina spoke on the House floor just an hour before Hannity's show went on the air, calling for the memo to be released to the public.

"I am shocked to read exactly what has taken place," Meadows said. "I would think that it would never happen in a country that loves freedom and democracy. It is time that we become transparent in all of this, and I am calling on our leadership to make this available so that all Americans can judge for themselves."

I viewed the classified report from House Intel relating to the FBI, FISA abuses, the infamous Russian dossier, and so-called "Russian collusion." What I saw is absolutely shocking.

This report needs to be released--now. Americans deserve the truth. #ReleaseTheMemo

— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) January 19, 2018

A number of Republican congressmen spoke with Fox News earlier in the day and broadly addressed the memo's contents.

"It's troubling. It is shocking.... Part of me wishes that I didn't read it because I don't want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much," Meadows said.

GOP Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida echoed Meadows's sentiments and said members of the Justice Department would lose their jobs over the memo's details.

"I believe the consequence of its release will be major changes in people currently working at the FBI and the Department of Justice," he said.

During his broadcast, Hannity also referenced the Trump-Russia dossier, which he referred to as "fake new." He said the dossier, authored by a former British spy, was used to secure surveillance warrants in an attempt to help Hillary Clinton win the presidency.

"This is an abuse of surveillance and intelligence to win an election," Hannity said. "It is a massive abuse of power, and it was all done by just a few people who think and thought they knew better than you about who should be the president of the United States."