Washington Post — By Karoun Demirjian and Devlin Barrett February 5 at 6:24 PM
The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously Monday to release a Democratic rebuttal to GOP accusations that the FBI misled a secret surveillance court — but whether the information actually becomes public will depend on President Trump, who has heaped scorn on the effort.
The vote means the political rancor roiling Congress is likely to continue, as accusations and counter-accusations fly about which party is misrepresenting or misusing sensitive intelligence surrounding the ongoing probe into whether any Trump associates coordinated with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
The panel’s senior Democrat, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), announced the vote results, saying GOP attacks on the Justice Department and the FBI show desperation on the part of the president’s defenders.
“We think this will help inform the public of the many distortions and inaccuracies” in the GOP memo released last week, Schiff told reporters after Monday’s vote, adding that he was concerned the Trump administration could still try to stymie the Democrats’ response.
“We want to make sure that the White House does not redact our memo for political purposes,’’ Schiff said. “There is a rising sense of panic clearly within the White House and as well on the Hill.”
Schiff said that he gave copies of the memo to the FBI and Justice Department days ago, and it would go to the White House on Monday night for review.
Even with the committee voting to make the Democrats’ memo public, Trump could still decide to keep it secret. Under congressional rules, the president has five days to consider whether to block the memo’s release. If he blocks it, the intelligene committee’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), could ask the full House to override the president’s decision.
Before the vote, Trump charged in a tweet that Schiff “leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information” and “must be stopped” — suggesting the president may decide not to allow the Democrats’ assertions to be made public.
Link to complete Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-attacks-schiff-ahead-of-vote-on-democrats-russia-probe-memo/2018/02/05/abf388fc-0a8c-11e8-8b0d-891602206fb7_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_memovote-625pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.73ce947fbf3f