Democrats have been pushing for the release of a counter memo to the four-page GOP memo released last week that outlined alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and Justice Department.
Republicans aren’t opposed to the release of the document, and in fact, the Republican-dominated has just cleared the way to release it.
“If it is scrubbed to ensure it does not reveal sources and methods of our intelligence gathering, the speaker supports the release of the Democrats’ memo,” said AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan.
President Donald Trump also seems open to the release, as long as the sensitive detail is redacted.
“I think the president would be inclined to release the Democratic memo should it come to us and should it be reviewed and gone through the same process and if national security and legal equities review it and say it doesn’t challenge sources and methods, the information in it,” said Raj Shah, White House Spokesman.
The GOP memo, crafted by Chairman Devin Nunes’ (R-Calif.) team, outlines past actions showing the anti-Trump bias at the Justice Department.
One claim made, in particular, is that senior officials inappropriately used opposition research acquired on one of Trump’s previous foreign policy advisors, Carter Page during the presidential election race.
“The Committee has discovered serious violations of the public trust, and the American people have a right to know when officials in crucial institutions are abusing their authority for political purposes,” said Nunes in a statement.
Trump applauded Nunes’ efforts to expose the injustices.
“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!” tweeted Trump Monday morning.
Over the weekend, Trump praise the memo for “vindicating” him.
“This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!” tweeted Trump.
The Democratic memo argues that some of these claims are misleading and inaccurate.
“As the Minority memo makes clear, none of this is true,” said Democrats in a joint statement about the GOP memo. “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.”
The memo “rebuts the Nunes memo point-by-point,” according to Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and also includes “new, unseen evidence that bolsters the FBI’s credibility and the seriousness of the Russia investigation.”
Nunes said on Friday that committee would vote on if the memo should be release, but like his memo it must be reviewed.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a top member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that the Trump Administration “would be hard-pressed to try to suppress the [Democrat’s counter-memo], particularly since they claim they’re releasing the GOP memo in the interest of transparency.”
“Schiff also lamented that the whole idea of “one party sending out a misleading memo and the other party having to correct the record” sets a “terrible precedent” — one that will have a chilling effect on the relationship between the intelligence community and Congress,” writes Axios.
This morning, Trump was quick to call Schiff out for his recent comments.
“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!” tweeted Trump.
Author’s note: This could backfire for the Democrats because it will bring even more attention to the memo. The Democrats are going to appear as just making excuses and will severely hamper the Mueller investigation.