Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, indicated Tuesday night that Democrats have decided not to make any revisions to their memo on FISA surveillance, in spite of the White House’s insistence that they do so. Instead, Schiff indicated, Democrats will ask the White House to redact any information they allege is necessary in order to protect national security.
According to The Hill, Schiff told reporters, “We’re not going to make any revisions to it. The only question is what redactions will be made. And obviously we’d like to keep those to a minimum. The White House has a different interest. I think their interest is in redacting anything that doesn’t reflect well on the White House.”
Schiff’s memo is in response to a memo drafted by House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (D-Calif.), which alleged abuses by various Department of Justice officials during the course of obtaining a FISA warrant on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page after Page left the Trump campaign. Nunes’ memo was released by the committee, with the support of the White House, on February 2nd. Schuff and other committee Democrats alleged even before the Nunes memo’s release that it was inaccurate and incomplete, and vowed to draft their own.
The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to release the Democrats’ rebuttal memo, and Nunes said over the weekend that he wanted the Democratic memo, which he called “ridiculous,” released. However, the White House blocked its release, claiming that the memo included information that revealed sensitive sources and methods, and asked the Democrats to revise the memo so that it could be released without redactions. The White House offered to work with committee Democrats to revise the memo so that it could be released in full.
However, Schiff’s comments on Tuesday night indicate that Democrats intend to attempt to force the president’s hand to either stand by his refusal to release the memo in spite of broad bipartisan support for its release in Congress, or to make and defend redactions to the document.