Nunes: 'No surprise' Dem memo wasn't released

Nunes: 'No surprise' Dem memo wasn't released
© Getty Images

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesHouse passes annual intelligence bill Democrats' opposition research got exposed — this time, not by the Russians GOP consultant sued by Nunes asks for help paying legal costs MORE (R-Calif.) said Friday he was not surprised that the Justice Department and FBI advised against the release of a memo authored by the panel's Democratic members.

"Ranking Member Schiff pledged to seek the input of the Department of Justice and FBI regarding the memo’s public release, and it’s no surprise that these agencies recommended against publishing the memo without redactions," Nunes said in a statement, referring to the committee's top Democrat, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett Schiff10 questions for Robert Mueller Court filings show Trump, Cohen contacts amid hush money payments House passes annual intelligence bill MORE (Calif.).

Nunes urged committee Democrats to make "the appropriate technical changes and redactions" to the document as recommended by the Justice Department "so that no sources and methods are disclosed and their memo can be declassified as soon as possible."

ADVERTISEMENT

Nunes's statement came after White House counsel Don McGahn announced in a letter that President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE had moved to block the release of the Democratic memo, citing "significant concerns" for national security. 

The Democratic memo is intended to rebut a document drafted by staff for Nunes and released last week alleging that FBI and Justice Department officials abused their authority to obtain a surveillance order on a former Trump campaign adviser.

After the Republican memo was released, Democrats raised concerns about its accuracy and accused Republicans of trying to derail the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. 

But Nunes said that the Democrats' rebuttal contained "many sources and methods" that could jeopardize U.S. national security and intelligence gathering capabilities. 

Schiff said Friday night that Democrats on the Intelligence Committee had submitted their memo to the FBI and Justice Department before the committee ever voted to release it, and pledged to review the redactions recommended by the agencies.

But Schiff also argued that the White House's decision not to release the Democratic memo appeared to be based on a double standard, pointing to the fact that Trump released the GOP memo in spite of concerns from the FBI and Justice Department.