Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted Monday to release a secret memo that accuses senior FBI officials involved in the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election of misconduct, despite the Department of Justice warning that making the memo public would be "extraordinarily reckless."
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told reporters the committee also voted against releasing a memo written by Democrats and denied a request by FBI Director Christopher Wray to brief the committee on the intelligence behind the memo. The document includes confidential information, and reportedly alleges that officials at the FBI misused their authority to obtain a secret surveillance order on President Trump's former campaign associate Carter Page. Republicans are using an obscure House rule that allows classified information to be made public, ignoring a letter sent to Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) from an assistant attorney general warning against the move. Democrats say the memo is misleading, and presents information with little to no context in order to undercut the Russia investigation.
In a statement, the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said it's clear "House Republicans' desire to protect President Trump has clouded their judgment and caused them to lose sight of what's at stake: the security and integrity of our elections." Trump now has five days to review the memo and decide if he should block its release.