The Democratic rebuttal memo to the House Intelligence Committee’s Republican-backed memo on alleged government surveillance abuses was released Saturday afternoon.
According to the Washington Examiner, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced the memo’s release during remarks at the Conservative Political Action Committee’s annual conference.
Democrats alleged the Republican memo is highly biased and was created to frame the FBI and other government agencies in a negative light. The Democrats’ rebuttal refutes much of the Republican memo and adds additional context to the highly controversial FISA warrant obtained on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page in Oct. 2016.
President Donald Trump initially denied the request to release the Democratic memo on the grounds that it contained highly classified information that would first need to be redacted. He claimed Democrats included the sensitive details to make it appear he was only willing to make public the Republican document.
House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has since worked with officials on redacting information that was deemed too sensitive to make public. The memo is 10 pages and includes a number of redactions.
What does the memo say?
The memo claims the Republican memorandum was a “transparent effort to undermine” the FBI and Department of Justice for “no legitimate purpose.”
The memo also backed the FBI and DOJ for seeking the warrant on Page.
“In fact, DOJ and the FBI would have been remiss in their duty to protect the country had they not sought a FISA warrant and repeated renewals to conduct temporary surveillance of Carter Page, someone the FBI assessed to be an agent of the Russian government,” the memo says, adding the government met the “rigor, transparency, and evidentiary basis” for seeking and obtaining the warrant on Page.
The memo also claims the Christopher Steele “anti-Trump” dossier was not used to initiate the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign, nor was it used to re-certify the FISA warrant on Page.