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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

House Republicans Vote to Release Secret, Disputed Memo on Russia Probe

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling

The Republican campaign to undermine confidence in the FBI and Justice Department, which are overseeing the Trump-Russia investigation, launched its latest offensive Monday over the objections of intelligence officials who warned the move was “extraordinarily reckless.”

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted to publicly release a secret, much-disputed memo written by their staff that alleges the Justice Department and FBI abused their authority by extending surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser and suspected Russian agent Carter Page.

The memo would advance the Republican and President Trump narrative that the FBI and Justice Department are tainted by political biases. Now Trump, who has indicated he wants the memo released, has five days to review the document and decide whether to release it.

Trump’s Justice Department opposes the memo’s release without an official review because it draws on classified information.

In a letter to the committee last week, Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd warned it would be “extraordinarily reckless” to release the memo and said he was “unaware of any wrongdoing” in extending the surveillance of Page.

The memo claims Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, a Trump appointee, abused his authority by approving the surveillance extension because it’s based, in part, on research by former British spy Christopher Steele, who had been financed by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

After the closed-door vote, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Republicans had voted “to politicize the intelligence process,” The New York Times reports

“Sadly, we expect that the president of the United States will not put the national interest over his own personal interest,” said Mr. Schiff. “But it is a sad day indeed when that is also true of our own committee.”

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