House Intel Committee Votes To Release Spy Memo
The House Intelligence Committee voted on Monday to release a four-page memo that alleges that top officials in the FBI and Justice Department misled a federal surveillance court in order to obtain a spy warrant against a former Trump campaign adviser.
California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the panel, announced the result of the vote to reporters.
The committee, which has 13 Republicans and 9 Democrats, voted along party lines to release the memo. The White House has five days to object to the disclosure, though White House officials have suggested that President Trump will allow it to be made public.
California Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the committee, and South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, put together the memo earlier this month based on information provided by the FBI and DOJ.
The committee voted shortly after to provide all members of Congress access to the memo, which contains classified information. While lawmakers are prohibited from discussing the allegations contained in the document, it is said to claim that top FBI and DOJ officials relied on the unsubstantiated Steele dossier to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to spy on Carter Page, an energy consultant who served on the Trump campaign.
Schiff and his fellow Democrats have protested the release of the memo, which they claim is a set of talking points aimed at discrediting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The Justice Department also expressed concern last week over the release of the report, saying that it could harm national security interests if sensitive information about sources and investigative methods are disclosed.
Nunes reportedly granted FBI Director Christopher Wray access to the memo on Sunday at the request of Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor.
During his statement following the committee vote, Schiff said that the Intelligence panel voted to release a Democrat-crafted rebuttal memo to Congress. But he said that the committee voted along party lines against making the document public along with the memo put together by Republicans.
“I think we have crossed a deeply regrettable line in this committee,” Schiff said.
Little is known about the Democrats’ memo, which is also classified. But a source familiar with the document described it in general terms, telling The Daily Caller that it provides additional context that the Democrats believe is left out of the Republican memo.
The source also said that the Republican memo cannot be released before the five day review period, even if Trump clears it for release during the week. That would make the memo available for public release on Saturday, but the source suggested that it could be held until Monday.
This article has been updated with additional information.