House Intelligence Committee Votes to Release Surveillance Memo
This afternoon, the House Intelligence Committee voted to approve the release of the much-anticipated memo, authored by Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA).
According to the Daily Caller, the memo alleges that top officials in the Department of Justice and the FBI “misled a federal surveillance court in order to obtain a spy warrant against a former Trump campaign adviser.”
The release of the so-called “Nunes memo” was approved on a party-line vote (13 – 9), with all Democratic members of the committee voting against its release to the public.
While congressional members are prohibited from publicly discussing its contents, the memo 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.”
According to the Daily Caller, one of those top DOJ officials which the memo allegedly exposes is Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is reported to have renewed a secret surveillance warrant last April against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Amid concerns of the contents of the memo, Fox News reported that FBI Director Christopher Wray went to capital Hill on Sunday to view the memo himself. Coincidentally, following Director Wray’s review of the memo, Disobedient Media reported this morning that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe would be stepping down from the bureau.
Last week, The Hill reported that in response to the release of this memo, Democratic members of the committee, led by ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), have announced that they plan to release their own memo in order to, “…counter the claims of Republicans on the panel that law enforcement officials are biased against the Trump administration.”
According to Rep. Schiff (D-CA), Democrats must release their own memo “setting out the relevant facts and exposing the misleading character of the Republicans’ document” and to clear the air.”
Schiff went on to characterize the Republican memo as simply, “another effort to distract from the Russia probe and undermine the special counsel.”
Much to the Democratic member’s dismay, the release of the minority memo to the general public was ultimately voted down on a party-line vote. However, as reported by Byron York of the Washington Examiner, the committee voted unanimously to make the minority’s counter-memo available to all House members — the same process initially followed with GOP memo.
In a press conference after the vote, Schiff stated that he was worried about the lasting damage that will be done to “our institutions” as a result of the release of this information to the general public.
Schiff stated that he had not seen any abuse by the FBI in surveillance and that this release is simply a distraction from the Russia probe. Schiff further claimed that Republican members of the committee were only concerned about releasing the memo because it would ultimately be favorable to the President.
In closing, Schiff stated that the vote by the committee today did not in any way mean that the investigation into so-called “Trump-Russia collusion” would be coming to an end.
However, today’s vote to approve the release of the memo to the public is not the final step. Before the memo can be released to the general public, it must go to the White House, where the President has a period of five days to either approve or disapprove of its release.
But as previously reported The Washington Times, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has already voiced the administration’s support for the release of the memo, stating: “We certainly support full transparency…It sounds like there are some members in the House that have some real concern with what’s in that memo, and feel very strongly that the American public should be privy to see it.”
Disobedient Media will continue to follow this story as it develops.