Committee Votes to Release Democratic Rebuttal to G.O.P. Russia Memo
A White House official mentioned on Monday that it was ready to evaluate the memo.
“We will consider it along the same terms that we considered the Nunes memo — which is to allow for a legal review — national security review — led by the White House Counsel’s Office,” a White House spokesman, Raj Shah, instructed reporters aboard Air Force One.
But the memo’s destiny is unsure. Mr. Trump signaled earlier on Monday that he had little good will towards the committee’s Democrats, launching a broadside at Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, its high Democrat. Mr. Trump accused Mr. Schiff on Twitter of illegally leaking confidential data from the committee, referred to as the congressman “Little Adam Schiff” and ominously mentioned that he “must be stopped.”
In a separate tweet later within the morning, Mr. Trump praised Representative Devin Nunes of California, who spearheaded the Republican memo because the committee chairman, calling him a “Great American Hero for what he has exposed and what he has had to endure.”
Automated Twitter accounts, referred to as bots, then appeared to push the “Little Adam Schiff” hashtag on the social media platform.
Mr. Nunes’s three-and-a-half-page memo centered on the F.B.I.’s use of fabric from a former British spy, Christopher Steele, within the warrant utility to spy on Mr. Page. Mr. Steele was researching attainable connections between Russia’s election interference and Trump associates, however the memo mentioned that the F.B.I. had not disclosed to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decide that he was being paid by the Democratic National Committee and legal professionals for Hillary Clinton’s presidential marketing campaign.
Democrats have denounced the doc as a tactic to undermine the investigation and to defend Mr. Trump, and so they have mentioned it’s riddled with errors and omissions.
Specifically, the Democratic memo is alleged to contend that the F.B.I. was extra forthcoming with the surveillance court docket than Republicans had claimed. People accustomed to the Democratic doc mentioned that it reveals that whereas the F.B.I. didn’t title the Democratic National Committee or Mrs. Clinton’s marketing campaign, the bureau disclosed to the court docket that the knowledge it had obtained from Mr. Steele was politically motivated.
The doc can also be mentioned to contest Republican claims that Andrew G. McCabe, the deputy director of the F.B.I. on the time, had testified earlier than the Intelligence Committee late final 12 months that the company wouldn’t have sought a wiretap of Mr. Page with out Mr. Steele’s file of data.
The F.B.I. suspected that Mr. Page, a former Moscow-based funding banker who was underneath investigation as soon as earlier than, was appearing as a Russian agent.
The New York Times filed a movement on Monday asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to unseal all supplies associated to the wiretap of Mr. Page, together with the F.B.I.’s utility for the warrant and different court docket paperwork. Since Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978, no such wiretapping utility supplies have been made public.
Monday’s vote was an about-face for the Intelligence Committee. Republicans on the committee voted in opposition to releasing the Democratic rebuttal final Monday throughout the identical assembly they selected to provoke the discharge of their very own. They argued then that the memo ought to first be shared with all members of the House — because the Republican memo had been — earlier than being reconsidered for public launch.
In initiating the discharge of the Democratic memo, the committee is counting on the identical obscure House rule it invoked final week. The rule permits the Intelligence Committee to sidestep the standard back-and-forth between lawmakers and the manager department over the federal government’s most carefully held secrets and techniques if the committee deems launch to be within the public curiosity.
Mr. Nunes, in the meantime, has continued to push ahead in secret with what he referred to on Friday as “Phase Two” of the bulk’s investigation. He has mentioned he’s centered on the Obama State Department and its position within the early levels of the Russia investigation, however provided few extra particulars.
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