Ryan supports release of Democrats’ countermemo

Ryan supports release of Democrats’ countermemo
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit Former Trump aide says he canceled CNN appearance over 'atrocious' Helsinki coverage MORE (R-Wis.) supports the release of a Democrat-drafted memo countering a GOP memo that reportedly alleges surveillance abuses at the Department of Justice.

“The speaker is in favor of greater transparency. If it is scrubbed to ensure it does not reveal sources and methods of our intelligence gathering, the speaker supports the release of the Democrats' memo," Ryan's spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, told The Hill on Friday.

The House Intelligence Committee voted on Monday to make the Republican-drafted memo public, while members voted to not release the Democrats' memo.

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Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee had expressed concerns that the countermemo would undermine sensitive intelligence sources and methods, according to the committee's ranking member, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDem lawmaker: Putin will take Trump's attack on Mueller probe as 'green light' to interfere in 2018 The Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments Russians' indictment casts shadow ahead of Trump-Putin summit MORE (D-Calif.).

Schiff referred to the votes as “a deeply regrettable line in this committee, where for the first time in the 10 years I’ve been on the committee, there was a vote to politicize the declassification process of intelligence.”

The minority faces an uphill battle in releasing their countermemo, which Schiff says "sets out the proper context."

The GOP-memo, which was spearheaded by committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesFreedom Caucus lawmakers call on DOJ to probe Rosenstein allegations Indictments show the need for Mueller investigation to continue Overnight Health Care: Official defends suspending insurer payments | What Kavanaugh's nomination means for ObamaCare | Panel approves bill to halt employer mandate MORE (R-Calif.), has been criticized by Democrats as an attempt to undermine special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe into Russian election meddling, which includes any possible ties between President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE's campaign and Moscow.

A senior administration official has told The Hill that Trump has read the memo and could sign off on its publication as early as Friday.

The intelligence community has also spoken out against the publication of the GOP memo, saying the information is misleading and could reveal sensitive intelligence sources and methods.

Nunes has called the objections "spurious."

Schiff on Wednesday accused Nunes of altering the memo after the committee had approved its release.

Nunes said he simply made grammatical changes and additions requested by the FBI and the Democrats.

Ryan cautioned Republicans on the committee on Friday not to overplay the document’s findings and not to tie it to the special counsel's probe.

“What this is not is an indictment on our institutions, of our justice system. This memo is not an indictment of the FBI, of the Department of Justice. It does not impugn [Mueller’s] investigation or the deputy attorney general,” Ryan said.