Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and fellow congressional Democrats are ratcheting up the pressure on President Trump to release to Democrats’ version of Republicans’ so-called FISA memo, in the interest of “full transparency.”
The New York senator and others made their plea Sunday, two days after Republican leaders of the House Intelligence committee released their memo, which alleges “abuses” by the FBI and Justice Department when requesting a surveillance warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court, on then-Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
“I believe it is a matter of fundamental fairness that the American people be allowed to see both sides of the argument and make their own judgements,” Schumer said.
The GOP memo alleges the warrant was requested by the two federal agencies based, at least in part, on a largely unsubstantiated anti-Trump dossier financed by Democrats.
California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, has suggested that Republicans used information out of context to draft their memo and as a result is trying to release Democrats’ version.
Schiff is expected on Monday to officially request that the committee, led by California Republican Devin Nunes, release Democratic members’ 10-page memo, with the promise to send it to the Justice Department for redactions.
The president would have five days to decide whether the memorandum can be made public, as he did with the GOP memo.
“I again urge you to support the release of ranking member Schiff’s memo so that the American people can make their own judgement on the facts of the case,” Schumer also said.
Schumer also argued the release of the GOP memo, after Trump declassified its content, was “only intended to undermine” the Justice Department collusion investigation, now being led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Congressional Republicans have rejected that argument.
“The memo has nothing to do at all with the special counsel,” Utah Rep. Chris Stewart, a Republican member of the Intelligence committee, told “Fox News Sunday.” “I hope the special counsel completes his work and reports it to the people.”
Later on the show, Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat on the committee, argued the memo indeed “appears” intended to undermine Mueller and his investigation.
And he urged Stewart to return to Capitol Hill this week to support legislation that would protect Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and support the release of the Democrats’ memo “that puts into context, point by point, the seriousness of this investigation as well as new, unseen evidence that bolsters the FBI's credibility.”