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House Intel Panel Votes to Release GOP Memo Showing Anti-Trump Bias

(CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360")

By    |   Monday, 29 January 2018 06:24 PM

The GOP-majority House Intelligence Committee voted Monday to release an explosive memo allegedly accusing the Department of Justice and FBI of misusing their authority to get a secret surveillance order on an ex-Trump campaign aide.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who announced the action at a news briefing, complained that Republican members voted against also releasing a minority memo that rebuts the data in the memo written by panel chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

Under the House rule invoked by the committee, President Donald Trump now has five days to review the document and decide whether to try to block it from going public, The New York Times reported.

The White House has repeatedly indicated it wants the memo out; the Justice Department had been working to slow or block its release.

NBC News reported late Monday that the White House counsel is reviewing the memo and no decision will be made on its release before Trump's State of the Union speech on Tuesday night.

According to the Times, the memo — which was made available to all members of the House — purportedly contends DOJ and FBI officials were not forthcoming to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge.

Republicans accuse the agencies of failing to disclose that the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign helped finance research that was used to obtain a warrant for surveillance of Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser, the Times reported.

The research presented to the judge was assembled by a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele.

The New York Times has reported the memo also reveals Trump-appointed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein signed off on an application to extend the surveillance of Page last spring.

"I think we have crossed a deeply regrettable line in this committee where, for the first time in 10 years or so I have been on the committee, there was a vote to politicize the declassification process of intelligence and compromise sources and methods," Schiff said after the vote.

"They took up their own memoranda and voted it out to make public," he added. "We had a separate vote on the minority memoranda and the majority voted against allowing the public to see the minority memoranda."

According to the Times, there is no known precedent for panel's action; the House rules allowing the Intelligence Committee to vote to disclose classified information if it is deemed in the public interest does not appear to have ever been used.

"A very sad day, I think, in the history of this committee," Schiff told reporters.

"[Monday] this committee voted to put the president's personal interest, perhaps their own political interest above the public interest in denying the ability to hear from the department and the FBI," he added. "That is, I think, a deeply regrettable state of affairs."

He called the action "a wholesale broadside against two of our respected institutions . . ."

"I have no confidence that review will take place with the majority memo. In fact – if I could – In fact, I think it's quite clear that the majority has no intention of having this vetted by the department or the bureau. At least gleaning from what the White House said over the weekend, it doesn't look like they have much of an intention to vet it either. The conclusion is cooked."

Republicans on the committee had not issued a statement early Monday evening.

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The U.S. House Intelligence Committee voted Monday to release a memo Republicans say shows anti-Trump bias at the Justice Department, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the panel, told reporters Monday.
memo, republicans, democrats, house intelligence committee
Monday, 29 January 2018 06:24 PM
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