Trump to Be Briefed on Democrats' Rebuttal to GOP Memo on FBI

Erika Holt
February 7, 2018

Memo madness is not done yet.

The Democratic memo is expected to lay out a point-by-point rebuttal of the assertions in the Nunes memo and make the case that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had good reason to spy on Page as part of the counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign, according to The Hill.

The Republican memo cleared the same approval process last Friday, sparking a furious debate across Washington over the role of partisan politics in the nation's top law enforcement agency. "As far as we can tell, Papadopoulos never even knew who - never even had met with the president". Specifically, it takes aim at the FBI's use of information from former British spy Christopher Steele, who compiled a dossier containing allegations of ties between Trump, his associates and Russian Federation.

Democrats have argued that the Nunes memo, which was released last week, was misleading and one-sided.

This detailed rebuttal was prepared by the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee - that's Adam Schiff - and his committee staff. But Democratic and Republican lawmakers say that assertion is wrong. The committee breakdown is 13 Republicans, nine Democrats. They advocated for my removal from the committee. They declined to be named because the schedule is private.

The committee voted unanimously Monday to release the memo.

The document was commissioned by Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence panel. The US president now has five days to respond by either declassifying the latest memo or blocking it. And that, of course, was a point of friction over the Republican memo. "But, with still, I think it's going to be very tough for them to say no".

After President Trump blasted ranking Democrat Adam Schiff in a morning tweet, Nunes (R-Calif.) said Schiff is spreading a "false" narrative about him and Republicans coordinating with the White House. How did this all go down today?

President Donald Trump met with a top Justice Department official Tuesday to review a classified Democratic memo on the Russian Federation investigation, less than a week after he brushed aside objections from the same agency over releasing a Republican account.

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Trump also has met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein over the matter. He said that Nunes was a man of great courage.

"The only ones cheering this on are [Russian President] Vladimir Putin and other American adversaries", he said.

Fox News reported that "the source who spoke to Fox News has read the Democrats' rebuttal memo and said it is filled with information on sources and methods taken from original documents".

Schiff said Democrats would have "limited recourse" if important passages were redacted from their memo.

Democrats contend the four-page memo mischaracterizes highly sensitive classified information and was meant to undermine the Mueller criminal probe that was launched in May 2017 as an outgrowth an earlier FBI investigation.

Gowdy, who said this week that he will not run for re-election in November, said the Russian Federation investigation would exist regardless of a dossier that the memo says the FBI received from a source who was strongly biased against Trump.

Which will answer the question: Does the President truly believe in enlightening Americans about how this supposed abuse of surveillance authority happened, or is he exclusively interested in helping fellow Republicans use their privileged access to sensitive secrets as a weapon?

SHAPIRO: NPR's Ryan Lucas covering this memo-versus-memo debate.

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