The House Intelligence Committee will consider whether to declassify a memo authored by Democratic lawmakers that refutes the notorious Republican memo, which alleged FBI and Justice Department misconduct, on Monday afternoon, according to multiple news reports.
The House panel released the Republican memo on Friday after it passed a vote earlier in the week, and days later received approval from the White House. During the vote, lawmakers did not approve of the release of the Democratic memo. But now, the committee will consider releasing it, and it reportedly challenges the contentious GOP document and highlights its shortcomings and other flaws, two sources told Reuters. One source added that the meeting will take place on Monday afternoon at 5 p.m.
Democrats on the committee are expected to make a push for a vote during the Monday meeting, CNN reported.
If the vote to declassify the Democratic rebuttal is approved, it will be up to President Donald Trump to decide if he wants to publicly release the memo or not. Prior to the release of the GOP memo, the White House argued Trump was leaning towards releasing it on the grounds of transparency, which should mean that he wouldn't have a problem with releasing the Democrats' version. However, many believe Trump released the memo as a way to justify firing deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and Trump has also said that the memo "vindicates" him in the ongoing Russia probe.
Surprisingly enough, some Republican lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee have seemingly opposed Trump's assertion that the GOP memo, authored in part by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., exposes FBI abuse and "vindicates" him in any way.
"I actually don’t think it has any impact on the Russia probe," Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who helped Nunes author the memo said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "There is a Russia investigation without a dossier. So to the extent the memo deals with the dossier and the FISA process, the dossier has nothing to do with the meeting at Trump Tower."
Echoing similar claims was panel member Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, who said there was no reason for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation to not be carried out.
"I think it would be a mistake for anyone to suggest that the special counsel shouldn't complete his work," Stewart said on Fox News on Sunday. "I support his work. I want him to finish it. I hope he finishes it as quickly as possible."
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., blasted Trump on Sunday for releasing the memo, and said it does "not at all" vindicate him, as Salon has previously reported.
If the memo is released it will give the Democrats an opportunity to seize Republican talking points, which was mainly a dud, and contained several unsubstantiated claims.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Sunday that the president should allow the release "as a matter of fundamental fairness."