Monday, 20 May, 2019

Panel seeks release of Democratic rebuttal to Republican memo

Adam Schiff says Republican attacks on the Justice Department and the FBI show desperation BILL O'LEARY Adam Schiff says Republican attacks on the Justice Department and the FBI show desperation
Patty Aguilar | 07 February, 2018, 02:03

It's not clear if President Trump, who lauded Nunes on Twitter today as "a man of tremendous courage and grit" who "may someday be recognized as a Great American Hero", will OK the release of the Democratic memo.

Monday's vote started the clock on that process, and if the same timetable applies as before, Democrats' countermemo could be out by Friday.

"Democrats have said their memo corrects mischaracterizations by the Republicans and adds crucial context to actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department in obtaining a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order to wiretap the former Trump aide, Carter Page, in October 2016", it reported.

President Donald Trump is lashing out at the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, saying he "must be stopped".

The Democratic memo "is a factoral, point-by-point refutation of the Nunes memo" and "would lay waste to the idea that the investigation and FISA application for Page was based exclusively or even mainly on the Steele dossier, and also to the idea that the FISA court was not informed that the Steele dossier had been paid for with political motivations" said a Democratic committee source.

"Oh, but did we catch them in the act or what", the president said.

Steele declined to comment.

While Republicans have used the memo to discredit Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Democrats have characterized the document as biased and accused Nunes of cherry-picking details to include in it.

"I believe it is a matter of fundamental fairness that the American people be allowed to see both sides of the argument and make their own judgments", Schumer wrote.

Devin Nunes has indicated Trump might make significant redactions before allowing the Democrats memo to be released
BILL O'LEARY Devin Nunes has indicated Trump might make significant redactions before allowing the Democrats' memo to be released

The president said that document totally vindicated him - no collusion, no obstruction of justice.

"The administration stands ready to work with Congress to accommodate oversight requests consistent with applicable standards, including the need to protect intelligence sources and methods", Sanders said of the Democratic memo.

The memo alleging major missteps by the FBI and Justice Department will not likely result in criminal charges, but that doesn't mean the issues at stake are any less serious, says a former federal prosecutor who argues that law enforcement officials have done a bad job of explaining the Russian Federation investigation to the American people. Nunes's memo portrays that dossier as "essential" to obtaining the warrant, but it doesn't specify which portions were used, and Democrats have disputed the accuracy of Nunes's claims.

"There are some varieties of abuse of power that we address in the criminal law, but there are many we don't", McCarthy said. Trump called the memo's contents "a disgrace". All had spoken out against releasing the GOP memo.

The idea that the FBI memo taints the entire investigation is ludicrous. He said Nunes had blocked efforts to obtain testimony from key witnesses and refused to answer repeated questions about whether he had coordinated with the White House in preparing the GOP memo.

"It's the fault of the FBI and the Justice Department that they're taking that position", said McCarthy, who noted that the government announced a counterintelligence investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 campaign and that part of the probe would look at any Trump campaign officials who had improper ties to the Kremlin.

The president now has five days to decide whether to allow the material's publication.

Schiff responded in short order. Mark Warner, D-Va., vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee; former CIA Director John Brennan; and former director of national intelligence James Clapper. And in the context of everything else we know so far, it is downright alarming.

The panel did, however, agree last week to let the full House review the Schiff memo in a classified setting. "So you need an investigation into Russian Federation".

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