House intel Republicans shamed into releasing memo that rebuts their FBI smears


A week ago, they were trying to block it to cover for Trump.

The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Monday to release a Democratic memo rebutting the GOP's own memo alleging surveillance abuses against members of the Trump campaign.

The unanimous vote came after Republicans were widely criticized for releasing their own memo on Friday while voting to keep the Democratic memo under wraps.

The document will now be sent to the White House, where Trump has five days to either release it — as he did with the Republican version — or keep it hidden from the public. It's not yet known what he will do.

As Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pointed out in a tweet Monday afternoon, "The Schiff memo is based on the same underlying docs as the partisan #NunesMemo, so there should be no question as to whether or not [Trump] will approve the new memo’s release. If he refuses, the American people will be forced to wonder: what is he trying to hide?"

The Republican memo, which was drafted by House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes, turned out to be an embarrassing flop for Trump and his Republican allies. Not only did it not live up to the hype — it actually ended up backfiring and debunking some of the GOP's own attacks on the Russia investigation.

Furthermore, just hours after releasing the memo, Nunes was forced to admit that he hadn't even seen the underlying intelligence upon which he based the document. In contrast, Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has read the intelligence that is summarized in the Democratic memo he prepared.

The Democratic memo is expected to deliver a detailed, point-by-point rebuttal of the claims in the GOP memo. It's also expected to lay out the case for why the FBI had good reason to request a surveillance warrant for Trump aide Carter Page as part of its ongoing counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia.

A move by the Trump White House to block the release of the Democratic memo would give the appearance that Trump had only declassified the material in the GOP document to provide political cover for himself — bolstering a potential obstruction of justice case against him.

Releasing the Democratic memo, on the other hand, is likely to show just how inaccurate the Republican version was.

Either way, the GOP-led memo stunt is not going to turn out well for the Trump White House.