The House Intelligence Committee could vote as early as next week to release two dueling classified memos: one that Republicans say details surveillance abuses by the federal government and one that Democrats say corrects the inaccurate GOP memo.
A committee source told the Washington Examiner that votes could happen in the coming days, including a vote on a four-page memo put together by Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif.
There are 13 GOP members on the committee and nine Democrats. It appears at least a majority of Republicans want the Nunes memo to be released, despite a warning from the Department of Justice not to do so.
The GOP memo allegedly summarizes the results of an investigation into abuses by the Justice Department and FBI in its use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Stephen Boyd, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, wrote in a letter to Nunes earlier this week that releasing it would be “extraordinarily reckless."
“Agencies that are under investigation by congressional committees don’t typically get access to the committees’ investigative documents about them, and it’s no surprise these agencies don’t want the abuses we’ve found to be made public," said Jack Langer, a spokesman for Nunes, in response to Boyd's letter.
Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department have been allowed to see the Nunes memo, and only select lawmakers have been granted permission by Nunes to view it in the House’s safe space. But many of the Republicans who've seen it say it contains explosive evidence of flaws within the intelligence community and should be released.
Meanwhile, Democrats on the committee are poised to release their own memo in response to the GOP-led one and could vote on that release as early as Monday.
Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Wednesday that the Democrats’ memo will “[expose] the misleading character of the Republicans’ document.”
“With this latest gambit, however, the majority seeks to selectively and misleadingly characterize classified information in an effort to protect the president at any cost,” Schiff said in a statement. “Regrettably, it has been necessary for Committee Democrats to draft our own memorandum, setting out the relevant facts and exposing the misleading character of the Republicans’ document so that members of the House are not left with an erroneous impression of the dedicated professionals at the FBI and DOJ.”
Schiff said he will move to make the Democrat-compiled memorandum available to the full House in the classified House spaces.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment about if it is concerned about the Schiff memo.