Intel committee releases Democratic response memo

Feb. 24 (UPI) — The House Intelligence Committee on Saturday released a redacted rebuttal to the Republican intelligence memo, a document written by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes that claims FBI surveillance abuses.

Citing sensitive information that needed to be redacted, Trump had blocked release of the Democratic rebuttal memo, which responds to the Republican memo alleging Justice Department surveillance abuses.

The Repubican memo, accuses the FBI of abusing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to obtain a warrant to place surveillance on Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser on Trump’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

Republicans say the memo reveals high-level corruption in the FBI and proves the investigation into alleged Russian influence of Trump’s campaign was influenced by partisan politics.

Democrats say the Republican memo is misleading and omits key facts. The FBI expressed “‘grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” according to a statement House intelligence committee ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff.

“The Democratic response memo released today should put to rest any concerns that the American people might have as to the conduct of the FBI, the Justice Department and the FISC,” Schiff said in a statement. “Our extensive review of the initial FISA application and three subsequent renewals failed to uncover any evidence of illegal, unethical, or unprofessional behavior by law enforcement and instead revealed that both the FBI and DOJ made extensive showings to justify all four requests.”

A statement by the White House said “nothing in the Democratic memo counters Trump’s statements that neither he nor his campaign colluded with Russia.”

“While the Democrats’ memorandum attempts to undercut the President politically, the President supported its release in the interest of transparency,” the statement read. “Nevertheless, this politically driven document fails to answer serious concerns raised by the Majority’s memorandum about the use of partisan opposition research from one candidate, loaded with uncorroborated allegations, as a basis to ask a court to approve surveillance of a former associate of another candidate, at the height of a presidential campaign.”

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