President Donald Trump is anticipated to quickly declassify a highly contentious memo on purported surveillance abuses, Fox is reporting, even as Democrats raise complaints that changes were made to the memo since it was approved for release by the House Intel Committee.
Those accusations fueled a new round of partisan recriminations on Thursday, with Democrat House Leader Nancy Pelosi shooting off a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan commanding the chairman of that committee, Republican Devin Nunes, be removed.
“Chairman Nunes’ deliberately dishonest actions make him unfit to serve as Chairman, and he must be immediately removed from this position,” Pelosi wrote.
But the objections don’t appear to be halting the publication plans.
The release is likely to come Friday morning.
President Trump has already said he supports the release of the document, before the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee late Wednesday charged that Nunes made “material changes” to the memo.
BREAKING: Discovered late tonight that Chairman Nunes made material changes to the memo he sent to White House – changes not approved by the Committee. White House therefore reviewing a document the Committee has not approved for release. pic.twitter.com/llhQK9L7l6
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 1, 2018
Representative Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who opposes the memo’s release in any form, wrote that the committee’s minority determined the letter was not “the same document” its members have been reviewing since mid-January. Nunes’ office countered that the changes were minor and blasted the complaint as a “bizarre distraction from the abuses detailed in the memo.”
The version Trump plans to declassify contains “technical edits” made at the request of the FBI.
Sources said the edited version was shown to five FBI officials at the White House on Tuesday afternoon. Sources said the officials were satisfied that the edited memo addressed concerns they had about the earlier version they reviewed on Monday.
Yet, in a rare and unexpected rebuke, an FBI statement was released on Wednesday asserting they had “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”
A source familiar with the memo said the edits involved some grammar and clarity issues, as well as an edit done at the request of the FBI and another at the request of committee Democrats. The source challenged Schiff’s claims, saying the edits were made before the memo went to the White House.
The document reportedly is highly critical of the DOJ and FBI’s use of surveillance during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Next steps are not yet clear, but Trump may transmit the letter back to the committee with a proclamation that it has been declassified. The committee would then release the memo.
Sources: Trump expect to declassify GOP's FISA memo | https://t.co/GMNMc8EyaB
— Project Republic (@ProjectRepToday) February 1, 2018
Under official House rules, the Intel Committee is able to release such information after a five-day period unless the president objects. The committee formally began that clock with a vote this past Monday night.
Free speech is under attack. Share this article on Social Media by clicking the share button, do your part to keep independent journalism going.