House Intel Committee Votes To Release Spy Memo

30 January, 2018, 01:59 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Zach Gibson  Getty Images

Releasing the memo has become a cause for conservative congressional Republicans, who say the FBI and the Justice Department pursued the investigation of possible Russian ties to the Trump administration under false pretenses.

Under the procedures used by the House, the White House now has five days to review the memo, and either object to its release, or to give the green light. "But I think the president generally sides on the side of transparency", legislative affairs director Marc Short said on "Fox News Sunday."

"Today this committee voted to put the president's personal interests, perhaps their own political interests, above the national interests", the Democrat said.

A House committee voted Monday to seek clearance from the White House for public release of a classified Republican memo that alleges bias and counterintelligence abuses in government surveillance of people surrounding President Donald Trump, a Democratic member of the panel said.

The memo claims Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein approved an application to extend federal surveillance of former Trump campaign associate Carter Page shortly after Rosenstein took office, according to the New York Times.

The House Intelligence Committee is set to meet Monday evening amid a heated a party-line battle over a secret, GOP-drafted memo that Republicans want released publicly. The speaker's move all but ensures that the Justice Department won't get much backing within the House Republican conference, and underscores the divide between House Republicans who are pushing for the memo's release and many Senate Republicans, who are urging caution and siding with the Justice Department.

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Last week, White House chief of staff John Kelly spoke directly to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, making clear the President's displeasure with the Justice Department's opposition to the memo's release.

The comments were made public in a story which focused on how the memo could undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is among the voices calling for the memo to be released. A House Intelligence Committee spokesman told The Hill that vote applied only to House members, which means senators were not granted access to view its contents.

Sanders said they were letting the process play out before officially weighing in.

Some lawmakers have described the memo as evidence of FBI abuse of the country's government surveillance programs, while others have raised concerns that it reveals possible signs of political bias in the federal investigation that kicked the Russian Federation investigation into gear.

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