The committee, which has posted a business meeting for 5 p.m. ET, has not yet said if it plans to vote Monday to release the memo spearheaded by Chairman Devin Nunes. A vote was expected as soon as this week.
The meeting is scheduled for “consideration of pending committee business and other matters.” Asked by CNN’s Deirdre Walsh if the committee will vote to release the memo, Nunes replied, “I don’t talk about committee business.”
The Nunes memo alleges that the FBI abused the FISA surveillance law over its use of the opposition research dossier on Donald Trump and Russia as part of the case to obtain a FISA warrant for former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. It cites the role of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe for their roles in overseeing aspects of the investigation, according to a source briefed on the matter.
The committee may also consider a Democratic memo by Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, who said he would be offering his own memo Monday evening to counter the Nunes one. Schiff and other Democrats say Nunes’ memo skews the intelligence it’s based on and is effectively an effort to try to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign in 2016.
If the committee votes in favor of releasing the memo, it could spark a showdown between Trump and his Justice Department.
Under an obscure committee rule to make the classified memo public, which has never been invoked in the panel’s 40-plus-year history, the President would have five days following a vote to decide whether to allow the public release to move forward or object to it.
White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said on CNN’s “New Day” Monday that releasing the memo could “send a message of accountability” in the US intelligence community.
“It could shed light on allegations that have existed for a long time,” Shah told CNN’s Chris Cuomo, adding that Trump hasn’t seen the memo.
The House Intelligence Committee voted to allow all House members to read the memo, but it has kept it guarded from others. In addition to the FBI and Justice Department, the House panel did not grant a request from the Senate Intelligence Committee to view the document.
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