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Intelligence committee votes to release rebuttal memo

By Ed Adamczyk and Daniel Uria
Intelligence committee votes to release rebuttal memo
The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to release a Democratic memo that answers a Republican memo written by panel Chairman Devin Nunes that was released last week. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The House intelligence committee voted unanimously Monday to release a rebuttal memorandum from Democrats that answers a controversial Republican document released last week

President Donald Trump will have five days to review the 10-page memo and decide whether he will block its release. If Trump refuses, his decision could be overruled by a House vote.

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"The administration stands ready to work with Congress to accommodate oversight requests consistent with applicable standards, including the need to protect intelligence sources and methods," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said of the memo.

Republicans who favor releasing the rebuttal include panel Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., as well as Reps. Tom Toomey of Florida and Peter King of New York.

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Committee Republicans who have seen the memo said it would need to be heavily redacted before being released.

The four-page GOP memo it addresses, on alleged Justice Department surveillance abuses concerning a campaign adviser for Trump, said federal law was broken in spying on the adviser. The committee and Trump approved its full release last week, without allowing a confidential memo by committee Democrats to also be released.

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Republicans say the memo shows evidence of bias from the start of the investigation into Russian electoral interference, and Democrats say its release is an effort by Trump to undermine the investigation.

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Committee Democrats have said their 10-page rebuttal corrects errors in the memo and adds context to actions of the FBI and the Justice Department. The GOP memo notes how the department obtained a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order to wiretap former Trump aide Carter Page.

The Democratic memo says the FBI offered more information than the GOP version suggests. Committee Republicans say the FBI did not mention to the court that information in the warrant request from former British espionage agent Christopher Steele was initially financed by lawyers of Hillary Clinton's presidential election committee and the Democratic National Committee.

"What we will learn is that it is not true that this FISA warrant was awarded solely on the basis of the Steele dossier," Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said Sunday. "We will also learn that the FBI, because they are very careful people, didn't mislead the judge, that the judge had some sense that this information came out of a political context."

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