Democrats Escalate Counterattacks As Release Of GOP Snooping Memo Draws Nearer
Democrats Escalate Counterattacks As Release Of GOP Snooping Memo Draws Nearer
01 February, 2018, 23:16
Trump has read the memo, administration officials said, though it remains under review.
White House officials say they're taking input from lawyers and the intelligence community on any redactions that should be made.
The process by which a congressional committee releases classified material "owned" by the executive branch is, if not unprecedented, unfamiliar enough that no one knows precisely how it should work.
Representative Devin Nunes, the intelligence committee's Republican chairman who commissioned the document, dismissed the objections to its release as "spurious".
Democrats have called the memo a "cherry-picked" list of GOP talking points.
Mr. Nunes spokesman, Jack Langer, countered that the changes were minor and some even requested by the Democrats.
She says Nunes' actions "make him unfit to serve as chairman".
House Republicans have clamored for the release of the document, saying it contains evidence of bias against Trump in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as allegations that the DOJ abused a surveillance program in its surveillance of Trump campaign staffer Carter Page. Trump-appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray has told the White House that the memo amounts to a false narrative, according to Bloomberg.
"Quite simply, under your leadership, unsafe partisanship among many House Republicans seems to have taken precedent over the oath we all take to protect our nation", Schumer wrote.
FBI Director Christopher Wray says he is ready to issue a rebuttal to the controversial memo authored by Rep. Devin Nunes once it is cleared for release by President Donald Trump, according to a former homeland security adviser. The FBI declared Wednesday that it has "grave concerns" about the accuracy of the classified memo, which was written as part of an effort to reveal what Republicans say are surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department in the early stages of the Russian investigation.
The statement Wednesday was the FBI's first public comment about a four-page memo that was drafted by Republicans on the House intelligence committee and that has divided the Justice Department and White House.
The edits to the memo were just the latest move in the dramatic push by House Republicans to release the memo to the public.
A spokesman for Nunes said the changes were "minor edits to the memo, including grammatical fixes and two edits requested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and by the minority themselves". John Thune, R-S.D., said Thursday that "the Senate Intelligence Committee needs to see [the memo], for sure" before it should be made public. But Trump also has the power to declassify the memo himself and either release it or give it to Congress to release.
The panel's ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., has since accused Nunes of making "material changes" to the document that members voted to make public before passing it on to the White House for Trump's review.
"The FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it".
The memo is now in the hands of the White House, which under the committee's rules has five days to decide after it is received whether the memo should be public or object to its release.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded by demanding Speaker Paul Ryan remove Nunes as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, accusing him of "dangerous partisanship".
It was not clear if the panel's Republicans would hold a new vote on the altered document.
This all comes as special counsel Robert Mueller also is investigating whether the Trump campaign improperly coordinated with Russian Federation during the campaign and whether Trump sought to obstruct the inquiry by, among other actions, firing Comey.
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