Members of the House Intelligence Committee unanimously voted Monday night to make public a Democratic memo rebutting the controversial Republican memo released last week, which outlined alleged surveillance abuses by the Department of Justice and FBI.
The memo from ranking member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is classified, but the committee's vote to release it sends the 10-page document to the White House for President Trump's review.
Once at the White House, President Trump will have five days to decide whether to allow the memo be made public or object to its release. If Trump says no, the committee has the option of sending the matter to the House floor and voting to override the president’s decision.
"We think this will help inform the public of the many distortions and inaccuracies in the majority memo," Schiff told reporters Monday night.
Schiff said the DOJ and FBI have had the Democratic memo for a few days, and can now begin recommending to the committee the redactions they want to be made.
Schiff said he was concerned the White House would make redactions for "political purposes," and would be comparing the redactions from the FBI and DOJ to that of the Trump administration.
According to Schiff, Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., asked Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., multiple times with no avail to reveal if the White House worked in any way on his memo.
At the end of the meeting, Schiff said Nunes read a very "lawyerly" written response that the the White House had not been involved in the "actual drafting" of the memo.
"But in terms in whether it was coordinated with the White House, they were consulted or strategized, the whole concept, he refused to answer those questions," Schiff explained.
The Republicans’ memo, which was released Friday, accuses DOJ and FBI officials of abusing their powers to obtain surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Schiff and Democrats say the GOP memo is misleading and has omissions that make it inaccurate. Most importantly, the GOP memo said a questionable dossier on Trump that was put together by Democrats was used by the FBI to justify a decision to wiretap Page, but Democrats argue the GOP memo incorrectly states that the court was never about the dossier's political origin.
Trump tweeted about Nunes and Schiff Monday morning, praising the former and slamming the latter. But the White House has indicated it's open to releasing the Democratic memo.
“Generally speaking, we’re open to considering any document the House Intel Committee submits to us for declassification along the lines that the Nunes memo was considered,” said a White House spokesman, Raj Shah, on Sunday.
Last week, the GOP majority voted to keep the Democrats' memo private.