House Intel Votes To Release Controversial Surveillance Memo To The Public

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Late Monday, The House Intelligence Committee voted to release the classified memo that reportedly shows government surveillance abuses in the Russia investigation.

The Justice Department previously released a letter to Congress calling a release of the memo reckless because it could expose intelligence sources and methods, but President Donald Trump seeks public release of the memo.

California Rep. Adam Schiff called the move a “very sad day, I think, in the history of this committee.”

The Hill reported: The committee voted against making public the Democrat-drafted counter-memo, but did vote to release it to the entire House, Democratic lawmakers said. The majority of lawmakers expressed concern that the minority memo would damage sources and intelligence methods, according to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

The move ends weeks of speculation over whether the memo, which was drafted by staff for 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 election.

The document will not be immediately released. Under the arcane House rule Republicans used to override the classification of the four-page memo, President Trump now has five days to review and reject its publication.

The memo was produced by a small group of House Republicans and staff as part of its investigation into how the FBI used the Trump–Russia dossier. It reportedly reveals that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein approved a FISA application to surveil Carter Page in the spring of 2017. The memo accuses the FBI and the Justice Department of failing to provide enough information about Christopher Steele to a FISA court judge. The memo “suggests that the FBI may have relied on politically motivated or questionable sources to justify its request for a secret surveillance warrant” in the early phases of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.