The House Intelligence Committee released a rebuttal by House Democrats to a Republican memo alleging bias and misconduct by the FBI and Justice Department early in their investigation of Russian election interference.
The White House quickly weighed in, terming the document “politically driven.”
President Donald Trump’s approval for the public posting of the counter-memo came after an agreement was reached on redacting parts of an earlier version for national security reasons. With the response memo’s release, Democrats on the committee got to lay out their case: that the panel’s Republican majority had cherry-picked and distorted information in an effort to undercut the probe that’s now being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“FBI and DOJ officials did not ‘abuse’ the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign,” Democrats said in the 10-page document was written by Representative Adam Schiff.
Americans now have two clashing, partisan accounts that claim to be true interpretations of a detailed court document that they can’t read for themselves because it remains classified.
“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,” White House Secretary Sarah Sanders said in an emailed response.
The four-page Republican memo was written under Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and was released with Trump’s approval on Feb. 2. It contends that a judge issued a surveillance warrant on Carter Page, a former low-level Trump campaign adviser, primarily based on an FBI warrant application that relied on a dossier of unverified allegations against Trump written by former British spy Christopher Steele.
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SOURCE: Bloomberg, Billy House