House Intelligence Committee Votes to Release Democratic Memo

Posted: Feb 05, 2018 6:32 PM

The House Intelligence Committee has unanimously voted to make the Democratic response to the FBI surveillance memo public. It is now on its way to President Trump, who has five days to decide whether or not he will block its release.

Chairman Devin Nunes and committee Republicans voted last week to release their memo on surveillance abuses at the FBI during the 2016 presidential election. The document details how the FBI abused FISA to spy on Trump campaign associates such as foreign policy advisor Carter Page. The Democratic rebuttal, written by ranking member on the committee Adam Schiff, reportedly includes some important context about that FISA warrant that the Republican version omitted. The Nunes memo is four pages, while Schiff's is 10 pages.

Schiff offered a few remarks after the panel voted, noting that the Republicans must have realized that stifling the Democrats' memo would be very poor optics. 

Before the Republican memo was declassified, Schiff claimed that Nunes had altered it without notifying his committee colleagues. He also charged that the Republican had worked with the White House on the edits. 

The Trump administration, Schiff said, is in a "rising sense of panic" because of the growing number of indictments that have come down in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian collusion. So, it makes sense they are trying "to put the government on trial."

President Trump doesn't seem too worried, however. He welcomed the Republican memo with open arms, using it to claim he has been vindicated from reports of Russian collusion. He also touted Nunes as an American hero.

As for Schiff, he got a new nickname.

The FBI memo was just Phase One of the intelligence committee's investigation, according to Nunes. Phase Two will target the State Department.