The House Intelligence Committee on Saturday released a Democratic memo in redacted form that seeks to undercut Republican claims of FBI surveillance abuses.
The committee made the Democratic memo public after the White House signed off following negotiations between the FBI and the committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, over what in the document should be redacted.
Earlier this month, the White House objected to releasing the memo, saying that sensitive material had to be removed first.
Schiff’s memo was written to rebut a Republican memo that accuses the FBI of suppressing Democratic ties to an opposition research dossier on then-candidate Donald Trump and Russia used in the FISA warrant for former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
The White House said in a statement that nothing in the Democratic memo counters Trump’s statements that neither he nor his campaign colluded with Russia.
“While the Democrats’ memorandum attempts to undercut the President politically, the President supported its release in the interest of transparency,” the statement read. “Nevertheless, this politically driven document fails to answer serious concerns raised by the Majority’s memorandum about the use of partisan opposition research from one candidate, loaded with uncorroborated allegations, as a basis to ask a court to approve surveillance of a former associate of another candidate, at the height of a presidential campaign.”
Schiff and other Democrats charge that the Republican memo led by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes of California is misleading and omits key facts, including that the FISA application did state that ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, was paid by a political entity. FBI Director Christopher Wray also expressed concerns, publicly warning the White House that omitted information could impact the memo’s veracity.
The release of the Schiff memo caps an unprecedented and tumultuous period for the committee, which has now voted to release two classified documents using an obscure committee rule that had never been invoked previously in the panel’s history.
This story is developing and will be updated.