House Committee Votes To Release Memo On FBI, DOJ
WASHINGTON - Members of the House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines Monday to make public a four-page classified memo about alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI that targeted members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
In the same meeting, the committee voted against publicly releasing a memo drafted by the minority and intended as a rebuttal to the majority's document, which was written by Chairman Devin Nunes' staff with input from Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina.
For now, the minority's memo will be made accessible to all members of the House in the committee's secure spaces. Republicans on the committee have said they would revisit making the minority's memo fully public in the coming weeks.
In a statement following the committee's meeting, the ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, said, "I think we have crossed a deeply regrettable line in this committee," adding, "there was a vote to politicize the declassification process of intelligence, and potentially compromise sources and methods."
The partisan nature of the vote, Schiff said, "does show how, in my view, when you have a deeply flawed person in the Oval Office, that flaw can infect the whole of government. And today, tragically, it infected our committee."
Schiff also said Republicans on the committee had opened an investigation into the FBI and the Justice Department, which he said was revealed to minority members for the first time Monday. Republican members disputed Schiff's characterization, saying the probe is part of the committee's ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
"As I see it we're investigating the 2016 election and that includes the conduct of the FBI as to how that investigation began," said Rep. Peter King, R-New York.
The majority's memo is said to contain evidence that the FBI relied on an unverified dossier compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele to wrongly secure surveillance warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
On Monday, White House spokesman Raj Shah said nobody in the White House, including the president, had seen the majority's memo.