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.
.@RepAdamSchiff: "The vote was unanimous to release [the Dem's FISA memo]. I think the Republican members understood that after calling for full transparency, they were getting hammered over the course of the week for trying to hid the minority response." https://t.co/FqpR43qp2G pic.twitter.com/UAglcBi1qc— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 5, 2018
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."
.@RepAdamSchiff: "As more and more individuals have either been indicted or plead guilty in connection with this investigation...there is a rising sense of panic, clearly, within the @WhiteHouse and, as well, on [Capitol] Hill." https://t.co/FqpR43qp2G pic.twitter.com/HPrO0TQMb7— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 5, 2018
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.
Representative Devin Nunes, a man of tremendous courage and grit, may someday be recognized as a Great American Hero for what he has exposed and what he has had to endure!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2018
As for Schiff, he got a new nickname.
Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper! Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2018
The FBI memo was just Phase One of the intelligence committee's investigation, according to Nunes. Phase Two will target the State Department.