The US House Intelligence Committee (HIC) has voted to release the Democrats’ counter memo responding to the bombshell report released by Republicans on Friday alleging FBI surveillance abuses. The memo is meant to address “mischaracterizations” in its Republican counterpart, and will now have to be approved by US President Donald Trump.
The Democratic memo was compiled by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who said he also wants the FBI and US intelligence community as well as the White House to vet its contents. He added that the FBI and Justice Department (DOJ) have already seen his report.
Trump will receive Schiff’s memo on Monday night and have five days to decide whether or not he wants to release it, although the congressman said it would be “very hard” for him to block it.
The HIC voted unanimously to release the Democratic memo. Previously, Republicans had voted against releasing Schiff’s memo, presumably because they wanted theirs to be released first. Democrats were highly critical of the prospect of releasing the Nunes memo, claiming that it would endanger national security.
The Republican memo, compiled by HIC chair Devin Nunes (R-CA), was highly critical of the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s campaign adviser Carter Page, accusing the bureau of securing a warrant to surveil him under highly dubious pretenses using unverified, biased intelligence. The Democratic memo is likely to defend the FBI from the Nunes memo’s allegations, and likely will cast Trump in a negative light.
The White House has said they are ready to review 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, told reporters on Monday.