Posted: 6:36 pm Monday, January 29th, 2018
By Jamie Dupree
The House Intelligence committee has voted to release a memo written by Republicans on that panel, which reportedly alleges misconduct by top FBI officials, on how that law enforcement agency handled the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and any possible connections to the campaign of President Donald Trump.
The vote came a day after the memo was reportedly read by FBI Director Christopher Wray, in a Sunday visit to Capitol Hill.
No immediate announcement was made by Republicans on the panel, as the top Democrat on that committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), told reporters of the outcome, saying that the GOP had refused to release a competing memo written by Democrats.
Rep. Adam Schiff says it is a “sad day in the history of this committee” after House intel Republicans vote to release their memo on the FBI but not the Democratic memo https://t.co/kWc0vA6DUb
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 29, 2018
NEW: House Intelligence Cmte plans to release classified memo, written by Republican staffers, that alleges counterintelligence surveillance abuses against a Trump campaign associate, according to ranking member, Democrat Adam Schiff.
— Laura Litvan (@LauraLitvan) January 29, 2018
BREAKING: Schiff: GOP on House panel vote to release classified memo alleging improper use of surveillance in Russia probe.
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 29, 2018
While no details of the memo were made public, each party saw the issue through their own lens.
“I’m stunned at the previous administration’s underhanded surveillance methods, and misuse of power at the highest levels of the FBI and the Department of Justice,” said Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), who like other Republicans were not able to reveal any details from the memo.
“This memo should be immediately released to the American public, so that they have all the facts,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY).
“I am looking forward to President Trump shortly declassifying – permanently – that memo,” said Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ).
“I strongly support the work of Chairman Nunes bringing to light the issues addressed in this memo and support its release,” said Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH).
As for Democrats, they trained most of their ire on the Chairman of the panel, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), charging that Nunes is just carrying water for President Trump.
“The Speaker has appointed someone who is totally irresponsible,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who labeled the move to release the GOP memo, “highly unusual” and “misleading.”
“I can tell you that the memo that they reference is a total misrepresenation,” Pelosi added, as Democrats ridiculed the move, saying it’s nothing but an effort to discredit the overall Russia probe.
As a Member of the House Judiciary Committee, I read the partisan, classified Nunes House Intel memo. I can't talk about it. However, here's an analogy.
Remember Geraldo Rivera and the infamous Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults? It's like that, but Geraldo Rivera has more integrity.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 29, 2018
The White House and the Justice Department have been at odds in recent days over release of the GOP-written memo.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says no decision has been made on what to do, as no one there has seen the memo’s contents.
“No one at the White House has actually seen the memo, so it would be hard for us to make a decision, or to speak about it before that would take place,” Sanders said at a daily press briefing.
“If and when it’s time for the White House to weigh in, we’ll do that through the proper protocol,” Sanders added.
Under the procedures used by the House, the White House now has five days to review the memo, and either object to its release, or to give the green light.
Some Republicans say they hope the President will make that announcement during the State of the Union Address on Tuesday night.
“I hope that the first thing he does is hand to the Speaker of the House his consent to declassify this memo,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).