By Steve Neavling
Democrats are refusing to give up on their fight to publicly release a classified report that rebuts a much-disputed, Republican-drafted memo alleging the FBI and Justice Department had abused their surveillance powers to spy on a former Trump campaign aide.
Today, Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, which drafted the report, said the panel is meeting with the FBI to hear its concerns about releasing the 10-page document and its advice on passages to redact.
“We’re going to sit down with the FBI and go through any concerns that they have,” Schiff said in a CBS interview. “And any legitimate concerns over sources and methods, we will redact.”
Trump insists he declined to release the report because it would “create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests.”
Schiff countered that Trump blocked the memo because it “undermines his claim of vindication” from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation that has evolved to include claims that the president obstructed justice by trying to interfere with the probe.
Schiff said the Democratic memo, which draws its information from classified reports, defended the surveillance request, saying investigators “followed all of the correct procedures.”
Under obscure committee rules, Democrats have three options: resubmit the document after the FBI’s concerns are addressed, urge the Republican-controlled House to override Trump’s refusal to publicize the report or let the issue go.