It was just three days ago that the House Intelligence committee released the memo overseen by Rep. Devin Nunes detailing alleged FBI bias in obtaining a FISA warrant for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Now, Democrats on the committee may have a chance to release their own. The committee voted Monday evening to make the memo public, one week after Republicans blocked it from release. It will now be sent to the White House for President Trump to review.
The Democrats on the committee claim that the memo released on Friday distorts classified information for political gain, aiming to discredit the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Here’s what you need to know.
What is in the Democratic memo?
Like the memo overseen by Nunes, we don’t know exactly what is in it because it is classified information and has not been made public. Led by California Rep. Adam Schiff, Democrats on the committee have said that their response contextualizes the Nunes memo, pushing back against allegations that the FBI was politically motivated.
“The premise of the Nunes memo is that the FBI and DOJ corruptly sought a FISA warrant on a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, and deliberately misled the court as part of a systematic abuse of the FISA process. As the Minority memo makes clear, none of this is true,” Democrats on the committee said Friday after the Nunes memo was released. “The FBI had good reason to be concerned about Carter Page and would have been derelict in its responsibility to protect the country had it not sought a FISA warrant.”
Committee Democrats have also said that even if the vote to release the memo is approved, certain portions that disclose sources and methods of the investigation could be redacted. The Nunes memo was released in full, without any redactions.
“We want to make sure that any redactions that are made are fully explained to the committee by the FBI and the Department of Justice, and likewise by the White House,” Schiff told reporters Monday after the vote. “We want to make sure the White House does not redact our memo for political purposes and obviously thats a deep concern.”
Would the Democratic memo be released immediately?
No. Should the committee vote to approve it by majority vote, it would follow the same procedure as the GOP memo, with Trump having a five-day window to reject its release. If the President objects, the release of the memo would be subject to a vote in the House of Representatives, according to the chamber’s rule book.
There is no guarantee that Trump will approve the memo, even though he allowed the release the GOP version, which could further heighten partisan tensions. On Monday morning, Trump targeted his ire at Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, deriding him as “Little Adam Schiff” and “one of the biggest liars and leakers” in Washington D.C. — a claim to which Schiff quickly responded.
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