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Schiff: Surveillance warrant docs show that Nunes memo 'misrepresented and distorted these applications'

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Trump travels to hurricane-ravaged Florida, Georgia Dems eye ambitious agenda if House flips Schiff: There is legal precedent for impeaching sitting officials over prior criminal conduct MORE (D-Calif.) said Saturday that the release of documents related to the surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser show that Republicans “misrepresented and distorted these applications” in their claims of bias at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“These documents affirm that our nation faced a profound counterintelligence threat prior to the 2016 election, and the Department of Justice and FBI took appropriate steps to investigate whether any U.S. persons were acting as an agent of a foreign power,” Schiff said in a statement. “FBI and DOJ would have been negligent had they not used all the tools at their disposal, including Court-authorized [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] FISA surveillance, to protect the country.”

The Department of Justice on Saturday released more than 400 pages of heavily redacted documents on the surveillance of former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

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The application documents state that FBI "believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government ... to undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law."

Page told The Hill that he’s “having trouble finding any small bit of this document that rises above complete ignorance and/or insanity.”

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee argued in a memo released in February that the DOJ and FBI were biased against Trump and his campaign, and abused their authority in obtaining the surveillance warrant against Page. Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesJuan Williams: Trump, the Great Destroyer The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — Latest on Hurricane Michael | Trump, Kanye West to have lunch at White House | GOP divided over potential 2020 high court vacancy Senate Dem: Trump's 'fake, hyperbolic rantings' an insult to real Medal of Honor recipients MORE's (R-Calif.) staff authored the document.

Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, and other Democrats released their own memo shortly afterward, pushing back against the GOP claims of bias.

Schiff said Saturday that while the documents show the FBI’s “legitimate concern” about Page, he said the materials should not have been released during a pending investigation.

“These national security considerations were cast aside by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing MORE, whose decision to declassify the Nunes Memo — which misrepresented and distorted these applications — over the fervent opposition of the Department of Justice, was nakedly political and self-interested, and designed to  to interfere with the Special Counsel’s investigation,” the lawmaker said.