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House Intel votes to make secret memo public

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The Democrats are freaking. Transparency to the Democrats is like the silver bullet to Dracula.

The Democrats and their faked Russia collusion smear is exposing them — hoisted on their petard.

House Intel votes to make Nunes memo public

The House Intelligence Committee on Monday evening voted to make public a GOP-crafted memo alleging what some Republicans say are “shocking” surveillance abuses at the Department of Justice (DOJ), according to the committee’s Democratic members.

The committee voted against making public the Democrat-drafted countermemo, but did vote to release it to the entire House, Democratic lawmakers said. The majority members expressed concern that the minority memo would damage sources and intelligence methods, according to ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

The move ends weeks of speculation over whether the memo, which was drafted by staff for chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), would be made public. But it intensifies the dispute over what Democrats say is an all-out assault by Republicans to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

The document will not be immediately released. Under the arcane House rule Republicans used to override the classification of the four-page memo, President Trump now has five days to review and reject or approve its publication.

But the White House has signaled support for the document’s release and is widely expected to defy the DOJ in allowing the publication to go forward. The DOJ has opposed the release of the document, reportedly infuriating President Trump.

Some Republicans who have read the memo have hinted heavily that it contains information that could unravel the entire Mueller investigation, long described by the president as a “witch hunt.”

The precise contents of the memo remain unknown. However, it’s believed to contain allegations that the FBI did not adequately explain to a clandestine court that some of the information it used in a surveillance warrant application for Trump adviser Carter Page came from opposition research partially funded by the Clinton campaign, now known as the “Steele dossier.”

The document spotlights Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s role in approving the warrant application, according to The New York Times. Rosenstein appointed Mueller and has become a recent target on the right — as well as reportedly garnering the frustration of the president.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications require multiple levels of authentication and require investigators to show probable cause that an individual is acting as an agent of a foreign power. To date, there has been no public evidence that DOJ officials abused the FISA process.

While Nunes has described the memo as “facts,” Democrats have slammed it as a collection of misleading talking points they are unable to correct without exposing the highly classified information underpinning the document.

It’s unclear how much input the DOJ will have prior to the publication of the memo. Typically, when sensitive documents are declassified, the agencies with equities in the intelligence weigh in to assess whether its release would damage national security.

Releasing the memo without allowing them to review it on those grounds, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote to Nunes, would be “extraordinarily reckless.”

But the committee initially stonewalled the DOJ from viewing the document because, as one committee member put it last week, “They’re the ones that have the problem.”

On Monday morning, deputy press secretary Raj Shah hinted on CNN that the DOJ would also not have an opportunity to review the document during the White House pre-release review.

“The Department of Justice doesn’t have a role in this process,” he told CNN.

FBI Director Christopher Wray was reportedly allowed to view the document in the committee’s secure spaces over the weekend. A committee spokesperson declined to comment on Monday, as did the FBI.

Another unanswered question revolves around the highly classified intelligence that underpins the memo, which came from documents provided to the committee by the DOJ as part of an agreement brokered by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The DOJ has said the release of the memo would be an abrogation of the terms of that agreement, an assertion that spokesmen for both Ryan and Nunes reject.

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