The U.S. House Intelligence Committee on Monday evening voted along party lines to release the classified memo that some members of Congress have said details abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act under the Obama administration.
President Donald Trump, whose administration has previously indicated it did not object to the memo being released to the public, has five days to step in to prevent its release.
“We want full transparency,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday. “That’s what we have said all along.”
The White House has not made a formal statement regarding its decision on whether or not to allow the memo’s release.
Republican members of Congress have described the information contained in the four-page document as “shocking,” “troubling” and “alarming.” At least one representative compared the activities contained in the memo to those of the Russian KGB.
The committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, said the vote made Monday a “very sad day, I think, in the history of this committee,” Fox News reported.
“Today this committee voted to put the president’s personal interests, perhaps their own political interests, above the national interests,” the Democrat said, announcing the vote to the media. Schiff said the vote was strictly along party lines, with no Democrats voting to release the details of the memo.
In addition, the committee rejected the possible release of a Democrat-authored “counter memo.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray reviewed the document on Sunday, according to the Fox News report, and was “asked to point out inaccuracies or other issues with the warning.”
Wray responded by promising to have “his people to take a look at it.”
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., told Fox that he thought the memo should be released to the public.
“If you … want to know whether or not the dossier was used in court proceedings, whether or not it was vetted before it was used. … If you are interested in who paid for the dossier … then, yes, you’ll want the memo to come out,” Gowdy said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Gowdy also suggested during the interview that the memo addresses a persistent rumor that the FBI under James Comey considered the now-discredited anti-Trump “dossier” in seeking surveillance warrants on members of the Trump organization during the 2016 presidential campaign.
That dossier was financed by the Democratic National Committee and, later, then-presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and may have been used to seek a warrant to surveil then-Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
A Justice Department official urged Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., last week to keep the memo classified.
The dossier, written by a former British intelligence official, began as “opposition research” into Trump, but has been largely discredited in the months since the election.
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