Rep. Dave Joyce, a Republican from Ohio, declared Saturday that the House Intelligence Committee "plans to begin" the release of the memo that allegedly contains revelations about U.S. government surveillance abuses.
His tweet is promising for dozens of conservatives who have rallied in recent days for the four-page memo to be made available to the general public. They suggest it contains evidence that the Obama administration used FISA warrants to spy on both the Trump campaign and transition team — charges Obama officials have long denied.
"Great news! Our efforts to #ReleaseTheMemo have been effective and the HPSIC plans to begin the process to release the FBI/FISA/Russia memo," Joyce announced.
He added that the process may take up to and beyond 19 congressional work days.
Great news! Our efforts to #ReleaseTheMemo have been effective and the HPSIC plans to begin the process to release the FBI/FISA/Russia memo. This may take up to 19+ Congressional work days but Americans deserve to know the truth.— Dave Joyce (@RepDaveJoyce) January 20, 2018
A request for further comment from Joyce's office was not immediately returned.
But a source told the Washington Examiner that a meeting took place to discuss the process for the memo's release, but cautioned more details need to be ironed out before a final decision is made.
In a recent Fox News interview, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said the process, if set in motion, would likely entail another intelligence panel vote. After that, he said, "if the executive branch gives the thumbs up they go public."
Republican senators appear to have had their interest piqued too, but appear out of luck, at least for the time being. CNN reported Saturday that Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., wants to read the memo, but was turned down. His spokesman, Sergio Gor, said Paul is "determined" to read it, added CNN's Manu Raju.
Gor confirmed the details of Raju's tweet to the Washington Examiner.
Raju also indicated that Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, was blocked from reading the memo but did receive a briefing on it from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif.
Cornyn's office did not return a request for comment.
Joyce's tweet Saturday comes one day after 65 lawmakers signed a letter calling on Nunes to publicly release the memo.
Led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., the Republicans said the report, which by a party-line vote in the intelligence panel was released to the entire House, should be publicly released immediately along with any other relevant information.
"After reading the document, we were shocked and frustrated, but it has deepened our belief in the vital importance of transparency," states the letter, which was also signed by Joyce and Jordan.
"This important memo will be of interest to anyone who cares about America and our democratic system of government," the letter continues. "We are writing to request the immediate release of this document to the public, as well as any relevant ancillary information. The audience of this document should not be limited to Members of Congress — the American people deserve to know the information it contains."
Today, I led a group of 65 lawmakers in a letter to Chairman Nunes of the House Intelligence Committee urging the release of the FISA Memo to the public. The American people deserve to know the information it contains. #ReleaseTheMemohttps://t.co/zcTr5QOKSQ pic.twitter.com/J6aQT7wXxN— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 20, 2018
Members have been blocked from discussing the memo in detail due to a waiver they signed, according to The Hill. They have described it as being supported by classified documents and interviews that most lawmakers have not been allowed to see — putting knowledge of its veracity in doubt.
Gaetz has gone as far to suggest people could "go to jail" due to the contents of the memo and special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which is examining possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, is "a lie built on corruption." He also said it became clear to him why Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., recommended the Justice Department criminally investigate the author of the Trump dossier, former British spy Christopher Steele.
The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, called the memo a "profoundly misleading set of talking points."
“[T]he Majority voted today on a party-line basis to grant House Members access to a profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI and its handling of the investigation,” Schiff, D-Calif., in a statement Thursday. “Rife with factual inaccuracies and referencing highly classified materials that most of Republican Intelligence Committee members were forced to acknowledge they had never read, this is meant only to give Republican House members a distorted view of the FBI.”
The push to release the memo comes amid a partial shutdown after the Senate failed to pass a short-term spending bill late Friday that was already approved by the House.
Editor's note: This report has been updated to include a response from Sen. Rand Paul's spokesman.