Now that #relasethememo is somewhat a forgone conclusion…
The House Intelligence Committee on Monday evening voted to make public a GOP-crafted memo alleging what some Republicans say are “shocking” surveillance abuses at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
At the same time, the committee voted against making public a Democrat-drafted countermemo.
While the panel voted to release that memo to the entire House, Republicans expressed concern that publicly releasing the minority memo would damage sensitive intelligence sources and methods, according to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the committee’s ranking member.
Both votes — to release the GOP memo and withhold the Democratic one — were along party lines.
The move ends weeks of speculation over whether the memo, which was drafted by staff for Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), would be made public. But it intensifies the dispute over what Democrats say is an all-out assault by Republicans to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The document will not be immediately released — but could be at any time this week. Under the arcane House rule Republicans used to override the classification of the four-page memo, the document goes to President Trump, who has up to five days to review and reject or approve its publication.
The precise contents of the memo remain unknown. However, it’s believed to contain allegations that the FBI did not adequately explain to a clandestine court that some of the information it used in a surveillance warrant application for Trump adviser Carter Page came from opposition research partially funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, now known as the “Steele dossier.”
The document spotlights Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s role in approving the warrant application, according to The New York Times. Rosenstein appointed Mueller and has become a recent target on the right — as well as reportedly garnering the frustration of the president.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said shortly after the vote that an investigation into FBI and the DOJ is now underway.
My modest proposal to President Trump becomes, with the SOTU looming tonight, #ReadTheMemo.
Read it, Mr. Trump. You can do that. Simply read it as part of your annual speech tonight. You have 5 days, but certainly less.
Is it appropriate, or called for? Who knows, or cares. But I can state with certainty that the state of our union would be done a great service if you #ReadTheMemo. It’s the season of conflict and chaos, would we expect any less?