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Democrats are fuming over the vote to release the FISA memo - here's what they're saying

Democrats widely criticized the vote by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee to release the controversial FISA memo to the public. (Image Source: Twitter video screenshot composite)

Democrats offered scathing criticism of Republicans over the vote of the House Intelligence Committee Monday to release a controversial memo reportedly detailing abuses at the FBI and the Department of Justice.

Here's what they're saying

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) criticized the vote as the ranking Democrat on the committee in a press conference Monday.

"Even without reading it, even without hearing from the intelligence agencies or the FBI what damage it might do, in terms of public release, it's clear they already want it released," Schiff said.

"I think as one of my Tea Party colleagues said all too candidly," he continued, "he was sure the president was gonna want to release the majority spin memo because it was good for him."

“That is apparently the standard now for the release of classified information," he concluded. "If it’s good for the President, then fine, regardless of its impacts on the bureau, on the department or on the interests of justice."

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) called the vote "profoundly irresponsible," and said the Republicans had declared war on national security.

"It was a really really sad moment in the intelligence committee, a committee that has traditionally been bi-partisan," Himes said on CNN.

"That memo contains highly classified information," he continued, "it contains out and out lies, which are, by the way, exhaustively dealt with in the Democratic memo that was provided today, ten pages, thirty-eight footnotes, that the Republican majority also voted to prohibit from being made public."

"All you need to understand," he added, "is that the Republicans declared war today on our national security, on classified information, and if you doubt that hearing it from a Democrat, they refused to allow the FBI or the DOJ to come to us and say, 'hey you're not right about this, and oh, by the way if you let the public know about this you're going to damage our investigation, you're going to compromise sources.' It was a profoundly irresponsible moment."

Rep. Danny Heck (D-Wash.) defended the Democrat memo on CNN.

"We reached a new low, Erin," he said, speaking to Erin Burnett. "In fact I think we've crossed a line that can not be taken back now."

"In one fell swoop we've completely politicized both the law enforcement institutions that keep us safe in this country, and completely politicized the release of classified information," he added.

"This is not just first time precedent, this is terrible precedent, frankly, going forward," he continued.

Heck said the Democrat memo was, "more of a counter-argument to the errors and inaccuracies in the majority memo, which at the end of the day, is frankly just one great big propaganda piece."

Other reactions

Fox News' Brit Hume noted that Republican majority members were lacking before media microphones after the vote.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) called the Democrats "insane."

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) praised the move.

The decision now falls before President Trump, who has 5 days to decide whether to release or not.

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