House Intel committee votes to release Nunes memo on Federal Bureau of Investigation

The House Intelligence Committee voted late Monday to release a controversial, classified memo alleging that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to spy on Trump campaign associates during the 2016 presidential election cycle.

The vote was announced to reporters by California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, who called it a "very sad day, I think, in the history of this committee".

The House Intelligence Committee's vote Monday overrode the Justice Department's opposition to the memo's release. They have pushed back on Republican criticism of the FBI, saying it is an attempt to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether Trump's campaign was involved. At some point the Republicans said they would consider whether to release the minority memo, Schiff said.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that "no one" at the White House has seen the memo, so the president was not prepared to make a decision.

The president also said in recent days that he hopes new questions facing the investigation allow him or his associates to make changes at the Justice Department, two people familiar with Trump's comments said.

But the White House wants the memo out and appeared ready to give a green light.

Page to the House Intelligence Committee that in July 2016 he traveled to Moscow, where he gave a speech that was critical of USA policy toward Russia and met privately with Russian officials, including the country's deputy prime minister.

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The Department of Justice has asked the House Intelligence Committee to allow it to review the memo before its release, warning that it could inadvertently damage national security.

He also said that he had spoken to FBI Director Christopher Wray earlier Monday, and Wray expressed "strong interest" in briefing the committee on concerns that he might have about the release of the GOP's memo.

Trump, appearing frustrated and at times angry, has complained to confidants and aides in recent weeks that he does not understand why he can not simply give orders to "my guys" at what he sometimes calls the "Trump Justice Department", two people familiar with the president's comments said... He also said the committee is investigating the FBI and Justice Department, though a Republican disputed that characterization, saying that the panel is conducting oversight of those agencies.

That move came amid Dem calls for Nunes to step down, which grew a lot louder after a newspaper report named White House staffers who had facilitated a dramatic dark-of-night dash to the White House by Nunes, to view secret documents.

Trump recently revived his complaints that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was not properly supervising Mueller's probe, and the president has suggested firing Rosenstein - a highly controversial action against the person officially overseeing the special counsel's investigation, an adviser who speaks frequently with Trump said.

Evidence of potential collusion between the Trump camp and Russian Federation has always gone beyond the dossier, including contacts that have been revealed in court documents as part of the investigation by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller. They will have proved to be ill-equipped to protect our democracy and root out corruption in the highest echelons of our government.

Both votes were made along party lines.

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