House Intel denied Senate Intel Committee access to surveillance memo: report

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has reportedly denied Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears Drama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry Cohen to testify before three congressional panels before going to prison MORE’s (R-N.C.) staff access to a classified memo detailing allegations of government surveillance abuse that is tied to the ongoing Russia election meddling investigation.

Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears ‘Fox & Friends’ host asks if McCabe opening FBI probe into Trump was attempt to ‘overthrow government’ Nunes says GOP lawmakers looking through Russia transcripts, will make DOJ referrals MORE (R-Calif.), who drafted the memo along with the help of his staff, denied Burr’s staff request for a copy of the document, CNN reported Wednesday, citing three sources familiar with the matter.


The panel voted last week to allow House lawmakers to view the memo in the committee's secure spaces. A House Intelligence Committee spokesman told The Hill that vote applied only to House members, which means senators were not granted access to view its contents.

The report comes at a time when Nunes could decide to put the release of the memo to a vote, which requires majority support among Intelligence Committee members.

Freedom Caucus Member Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanRod Rosenstein’s final insult to Congress: Farewell time for reporters but not testimony House conservatives blast border deal, push Trump to use executive power Cohen to testify before three congressional panels before going to prison MORE (R-Ohio), who is part of the growing chorus of lawmakers calling for the memo's release, says President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE would then need to give the final sign-off to release the information.

Some lawmakers have described the memo as evidence of FBI abuse of the country’s government surveillance programs, while others have raised concerns that it reveals possible signs of political bias in the federal investigation that kicked the Russia investigation into gear.

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHouse chairmen consult with counsel about ways to get notes from Trump-Putin meetings Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment Hillicon Valley: Facebook weighs crackdown on anti-vaccine content | Lyft challenges Trump fuel standards rollback | Illinois tries to woo Amazon | New round of China trade talks next week MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee, in a statement called the report “a profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI and its handling of the investigation."

Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordGOP advances rules change to speed up confirmation of Trump nominees GOP senator calls Omar's apology 'entirely appropriate' New battle lines in war over Trump’s judicial picks MORE (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CNN that the panel had not received access to the memo.

"None of the senators have access to it," Lankford said, telling the news outlet "right" when asked whether his panel’s memo access request had been denied.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyHigh stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Grassley raises voice after McConnell interrupts Senate speech MORE (R-Iowa) also reportedly called for the information in the memo to be made public.

"Based on what I know, I agree that as much of this information should be made public as soon as possible through the appropriate process," Grassley told CNN.

The House and Senate Intelligence committees are leading separate probes that are seeking to independently investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election as well as possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Jonathan Easley contributed.