Democrats praise release of Dem House Intel memo

Democrats praise release of Dem House Intel memo
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Democratic lawmakers on Saturday praised the release of their party's rebuttal to a memo from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee purporting to detail surveillance abuses by the Justice Department against the Trump campaign.

In a series of statements, Democratic leaders said that their version of the memo, authored by Democrats on the committee and led by ranking member Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Tech: Lawmakers zero in on Zuckerberg | AT&T, DOJ preview trial arguments | First lady vows to tackle cyberbullying Schiff: Cambridge Analytica CEO's mocking description of GOP 'all too accurate' Cambridge Analytica whistleblower to speak to House Intel Dems MORE (D-Calif.), debunked claims made by Republicans and exposed inaccuracies in the GOP memo.

In his statement, Schiff said his research should "put to rest" accusations of wrongdoing by the FBI, Justice Department (DOJ), or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

“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 [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court]," Schiff wrote.

"Our extensive review of the initial [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] 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."

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiAnti-abortion Dem wins primary fight Lipinski holds slim lead in tough Illinois primary fight Steyer brings his push to impeach Trump to town halls across the nation MORE (D-Calif.) went further in her statement, calling on Republicans to end "political charades" surrounding the Russia investigation following the memo's release.

“The release of the House Intelligence Committee Democrats’ memo helps set the record straight on Republicans’ attempts to obstruct the investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal," Pelosi wrote.

“It is imperative that Republicans in Congress end their political charades," she added. "The Congress must finally come together to honor its constitutional oath to protect the American people, and take real action to investigate the Russian attacks on our democracy and ensure they never happen again."

In the upper chamber, Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee accused Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesTop Russia probe Republican: 'No intention' of calling Cambridge Analytica officials back Hannity: 'There’s not going to be any firing of Mueller' Conaway walks back comment after saying House Intel didn't probe collusion MORE (R-Calif.), who authored the GOP memo, and other Republicans of trying "mislead" Americans about the conduct of top law enforcement agencies for "partisan political" purposes.

"It is deeply unfortunate that House Republicans decided to release classified information in order to mislead the American people for partisan political purposes," ranking member Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerOvernight Cybersecurity: Senate Intel releases election security findings | Facebook to meet with officials on Capitol Hill amid Cambridge Analytica fallout | Orbitz admits possible breach Facebook to meet with officials on Capitol Hill amidst Cambridge Analytica fallout Senate Intel releases summary of election security report MORE (D-Va.) wrote.

"Americans deserve an accurate picture of the actions taken by the FBI, which were fully appropriate and entirely lawful. This memo makes clear that there is no reasonable basis to suggest otherwise, except to undermine the Special Counsel’s investigation," he added.

In his statement, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) lashed out at President TrumpDonald John TrumpKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp Anti-abortion Dem wins primary fight Lipinski holds slim lead in tough Illinois primary fight MORE, who he accused of silencing Democratic opposition by delaying the release of the Democratic memo until redactions were made.

"By initially delaying the release of the memo, the president purposefully silenced any Democratic rebuttal to the fabricated conspiracy theories pushed by Chairman Nunes. Obviously, there is something the president is afraid of," Schumer said.

Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu (Calif.) agreed with Schumer in a tweet, calling the redactions requested by the White House and Justice Department "unnecessary."

"Pleased to see Schiff memo was released. The redactions were unnecessary, but at least the White House kept the main points in. I can say that the redacted materials all support the boldfaced points," Lieu tweeted. 


"This Democratic memo shows the Nunes memo was designed to mislead the people."

Nunes's Democratic challenger used the memo's release to attack his Republican opponent, saying that Nunes must be voted out of office before he could further undermine law enforcement.

"More proof that my opponent’s #Memo was a clear attempt to unfairly paint law enforcement as biased and unethical. We must #RemoveNunes before he can do anymore damage to our democratic institutions," Andrew Janz tweeted.

The Democratic memo was released after days of negotiations between committee Democrats and the Justice Department over redactions of classified material.

A final version posted Saturday on the House Intelligence Committee's website countered Republican claims about the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russia, and accused Nunes of cherry-picking information to mislead Americans while not reading the underlying documents.