California congressman Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that the panel is negotiating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation about narrowly redacting sensitive information contained in a memo meant to counter a Republican document alleging surveillance abuses.
In addition to the FBI and DOJ omitted "relevant and material" facts from their FISA application targeting Page, the Nunes memo also says former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said in his testimony a year ago that the Page warrant would not have been sought without information contained in the Steele dossier, an explosive and unverified collection of memos alleging collusion between Trump and Russian Federation.
Trump blocked the release of the Democratic memo on Friday, claiming that it was too "political", despite the Republican memo being a blatantly partisan attack on the intelligence community.
For his part, Republican Devin Nunes, who heads the intelligence committee, asked the Democrats to accept the Justice Department's recommendations and "make the appropriate technical changes and redactions" so that their memo can be declassified as soon as possible.
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Democrats have countered that the GOP memo was inaccurate and a misleading collection of "cherry-picked" details.
"If a member or staff employee of the House Intelligence Committee engaged with the White House to stifle the special counsel inquiry, it would be hard to see how such collaboration would be considered "essential to the deliberations" of the committee or the House", the trio noted.
"We need to go through that and identify that which remains classified and would implicate sources and methods or investigative interests", he said at a newsmaker's breakfast meeting on Wednesday sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. McGahn told Nunes that President Trump was "inclined" but "unable" to declassify the 10-page memo because it "contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages". Rep. Matt Gaetz told Infowars host and notorious conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that he was unjustly being labeled a conspiracy theorist for pushing for the release of the Nunes memo.
Trump allowed the release of the memo, made public on February 2, which was written by the committee's Republicans.
President Donald Trump shouts to reporters while departing the White House June 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. In July 2016, Trump openly invited Russian Federation to interfere with the election and to commit a crime by hacking into a private email server.
On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray joined Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and other agency heads when they presented the 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessment report to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Trump denies any collusion by his campaign.