National Security

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 Burr’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 Nunes (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.

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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 Jordan (R-Ohio), who is part of the growing chorus of lawmakers calling for the memo’s release, says President Trump 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 Schiff (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 Lankford (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 Grassley (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.

Tags Adam Schiff Chuck Grassley Devin Nunes Donald Trump James Lankford Jim Jordan Richard Burr

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