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House Committee Votes to Release Democrats' Russia Memo

Image: House Committee Votes to Release Democrats' Russia Memo
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. (AP)

By    |   Monday, 05 Feb 2018 06:16 PM

The House Intelligence Committee voted Monday evening to release a Democratic response rebutting the panel’s GOP-written memo alleging FBI surveillance abuses, the committee's ranking Democrat announced.

"I think Republican members understood that after calling for full transparency, they were getting hammered over the course of the week for trying to hide the minority response," Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told reporters after the unanimous vote to release the Democrats' memo.

The measure will go to the White House for President Donald Trump to decide if he'll declassify the information — as he did with the majority memo.

Schiff — blasted earlier in the day by Trump in a tweet that lashed out at the lawmaker as "one of the biggest liars and leakers" — reiterated his disdain for the majority memo, backed by panel chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., calling it an endeavor "to put the FBI on trial, the Department of Justice on trial, impeach and impugn the hard work of these dedicated public servants."

"The chairman has announced his intention to continue with other phases of the so-called investigation into the FBI and the Department of Justice and maybe other agencies," Schiff he said.

"We hope these phases of distraction will come to an end and once again the committee will focus on what the Russian state [did] to interfere in our election. We know about the Trump campaign contacts and communication or collusion with the Russians, and what we can do to prevent this from happening in the future. That's where we hope our investigation will get back on track."

A week ago, every committee Republican opposed — and every Democrat favored — the Democratic memo's release at the same meeting in which every Republican voted to release the Republican memo, despite unanimous Democratic opposition.

The Republican memo accused senior Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department officials of not revealing that portions of a dossier used in seeking a court warrant to eavesdrop on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page were partly paid for by Democrats.

Committee Democrats said the four-page memo was intended to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's criminal probe into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

The dispute deepened partisan rancor over congressional investigations of Russia and the 2016 U.S. election, prompting concern about lawmakers' ability to produce unbiased reports.

House intelligence is one of three congressional committees looking into the matter, along with Mueller.

Russia denies trying to influence the election. Trump denies collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

Aides to Republican committee members Peter King, Frank LoBiondo, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Michael Turner, Trey Gowdy and Elise Stefanik said they expected to vote to release the Democrats' memo at a meeting on Monday evening.

The White House approved the release of the Republican memo on Friday over strong objections by the FBI.

The White House said it was open to releasing the Democratic memo once it goes through the same security review as the Republican document.

Democrats worried Trump might try to use the Republican memo to make the case for firing Mueller or Rod Rosenstein, the No. 2 official at Justice, who is overseeing the Russia probe and signed off on at least one of the warrant applications for Page. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

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Headline
The House Intelligence Committee on Monday voted unanimously to release the Democrats' memo responding to a contentious Republican memo alleging FBI bias against President Donald Trump.Ranking committee member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., made the announcement to reporters at...
schiff, democrats, memo, fisa
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2018-16-05
Monday, 05 Feb 2018 06:16 PM
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