Washington Post —  January 29, 2018

The House Intelligence Committee voted Monday to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department, escalating a political fight between conservatives and the nation’s intelligence agencies.

The vote, which proceeded along party lines in the Republican-controlled committee, means that President Trump now has up to five days to review the material and decide whether to keep it secret, though he could agree to the release anytime before that deadline. If he does nothing, the committee can release the memo publicly.

The Justice Department and the FBI are likely to lobby Trump in the interim, hopeful that he will prevent the memo’s classified contents from becoming public before lawyers for those agencies can review the material.

The Intelligence Committee also voted along party lines Monday against releasing a rebuttal memo from the panel’s Democrats, who denounced both moves upon leaving the closed-door hearing.

“We had votes today to politicize the intelligence process,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the committee’s senior Democrat. He also said the committee is investigating the FBI and the Justice Department, though a Republican disputed that characterization, saying the panel is conducting oversight of those agencies.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has led efforts to release the memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department. (Susan Walsh/AP)

Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Tex.) said that if the president supports the memo’s release, it could happen as soon as Tuesday. He said that the Democrats’ counterargument also may be released soon but that he thinks more lawmakers should read it first.

A person familiar with the Democrats’ document described it as a point-by-point rebuttal, about 10 pages long, of the GOP memo.

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