Schiff says he’ll meet with FBI to discuss Democratic memo redaction
House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam Schiff says he plans to meet with the FBI to hear concerns about a Democratic rebuttal to a Republican intelligence memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority.
“We’re going to sit down with the FBI and go through any concerns that they have, and any legitimate concerns over sources and methods, we will redact,” Schiff told CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday morning.
The memo from the committee’s Democrats rebuts allegations in the memo from the panel’s Republicans that accuses the FBI of suppressing Democratic ties to an opposition research dossier on then-candidate Donald Trump and Russia used in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant for former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
Schiff’s comments come after the White House’s decision last week not to publish the Democratic rebuttal document. The White House said in a letter to the committee that it would not publicize the contents of the Democratic memo “because the Memorandum contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages.”
“Unlike the Republicans we gave the FBI and the Department of Justice our memo even before we took it up into committee and invited their feedback as to any concerns over sources and methods,” Schiff continued. “But what’s really going on here … is the President doesn’t want the public to see the underlying facts.”
White House legislative affairs director Marc Short blasted Schiff’s initial push to publish the Democratic memo in an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Short said the President believes Schiff “intentionally put in there methods and sources he knew would need to be redacted” so there would be “an outcry that the White House is trying to edit it.”
Trump called the memo “very political and long” in a tweet on Saturday and said he told Democrats “to re-do.”
“The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency,” Trump said on Twitter. “Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!”
It’s unclear when Schiff will meet with the FBI to hear their concerns and make the requested redaction.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-California, accused Democrats on his committee of not immediately taking action to redact the memo for political reasons.
“The Democrats have been on TV all weekend long,” Nunes told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “Their memo is sitting at the House Intelligence Committee down at the bottom of the Capitol waiting to be redacted. If they really wanted to get it out, they’d be down there all of yesterday redacting it, getting it back over to the White House so that the public can know what’s in it. This is nothing but politics.”
Under House rules, the committee and full House could vote to override White House and declassify the memo. But Democrats are unlikely to push for a vote in committee to override the White House’s objections to releasing the memo until Schiff’s meeting with the FBI occurs, a source tells CNN.