As the fallout from the Friday release of the Republicans' long-awaited FISA memo dominates the weekend news cycle, Reuters is reporting that the House Intelligence Committee will take up consideration of the Democrats' rebuttal memo on Monday, according to two anonymous sources familiar with the deliberations.
The panel, which on Friday released the Republican document, will consider whether to declassify the Democratic memo, which Democrats say will highlight flaws and other shortcomings in the Republicans' memo, which President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that the memo "totally vindicates" him in the Russia probe. The meeting will take place at 5 pm ET on Monday, one of the sources said.
As we pointed out earlier, Democrats have begun drafting talking points to help rebut the memo - though these have been drafted independent of the memo.
Nadler's talking points - which are separate from the official response by House Intel Committee Democrats - call the GOP-authored memo "deeply misleading," and claim that Republicans are now "part and parcel to an organized effort to obstruct" Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“Until now, we could only really accuse House Republicans of ignoring the President’s open attempts to block the Russia investigation,” Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee said in the four-page letter released on Saturday. The document provided a point-by-point rebuttal to the Republican memo alleging bias in Mueller’s probe of possible links between Russia and Trump’s campaign, according to Bloomberg's summary.
House Intel Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff
“With the release of the Nunes memo - a backhanded attempt to cast doubt on the origins of the Special Counsel’s investigation - we can only conclude that House Republicans are complicit in the effort to help the President avoid accountability for his actions and for the actions of his campaign,” the talking points read.
In the memo, Democrats argue that the Page warrant was justified because he was "more likely than not, an agent of a foreign power."
“Carter Page was, more likely than not, an agent of a foreign power. The Department of Justice thought so. A federal judge agreed. The consensus, supported by the facts, forms the basis of the warrant issued,” Nadler writes in the rebuttal.
Assuming the issue of releasing the document is taken up by the House committee on Monday, it's unclear when it will be released.
* * *
As a reminder, the House Intel Committee already voted down Ranking Member Adam Schiff's demand that the committee vote to declassify the Democrats' memo...
Schiff: ".. I find the memo to be deeply misleading. We wrote for the committee a memo that sets out the accurate facts and their proper context. And, of course, not surprisingly, when we took this up the last night and the majority said that in the interest of full transparency they thought the public should see this, we moved to make our own memoranda public at the same time, and they voted that down."
"And you could certainly say, well, isn't the Democratic memo going to be just as skewed as the Republican memo? That's not always the case. There are times when one party gets it right. The problem is the public won't get to see the underlying materials, won't get to make that judgment."
But that's the whole point of this GOP exercise. It's the politicization of intelligence to protect the president, to circle the wagons around the White House as Bob Mueller's investigation gets closer and closer to the president."
Meanwhile, the Hill reports that, after initially opposing the release, Republicans on the Intel Committee are signaling mounting openness toward releasing the Democrats' memo as political pressure mounts.