A Democratic lawmaker submitted a parliamentary inquiry on the House floor Friday, asking whether House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., broke House rules by releasing the controversial memo outlining alleged abuses of secret surveillance by the FBI and Justice Department
"Does the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee have the authority to transmit a classified document ... that was never approved for release by a vote of the committee?", asked Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., during a brief pro forma session hours after the memo's release.
The presiding Republican officer at the time, Rep. Paul Mitchell of Michigan, declined to fulfill the request.
"The chair will not issue an advisory opinion at this time," Mitchell said.
.@repraskin: "Does the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee have the authority to transmit a classified document…that was never approved for release by a vote of the committee?"@Reppaulmitchell: "The chair will not issue an advisory opinion at this time." pic.twitter.com/bI5SeCv272— CSPAN (@cspan) February 2, 2018
Raskin had referred to a clause in the House Rules about a select committee vote to publicly disclose any information that had been "classified under established security procedures."
Democrats cried foul this week when they discovered Nunes allowed edits to the memo that was sent to the White House after the panel voted to release it.
House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said "material changes" had been made to the memo.
But a spokesman for the intelligence committee shot back, saying the edits were "minor," including "grammatical fixes and two edits requested by the FBI and by the Minority themselves."
"The vote to release the memo was absolutely procedurally sound, and in accordance with House and Committee rules," the spokesman added.