With caution, take Nunes memo seriously

With caution, take Nunes memo seriously

The US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee has voted unanimously to release a Democratic rebuttal to a Republican memo alleging bias against President Donald Trump.

If the committee votes to release the Democratic memo, Trump would have five days to object to its release. At the same time, Trump praised the man behind the GOP memo. It gathered responses from 2,251 adults, including 941 Democrats and 827 Republicans, and had a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 2 percentage points for the entire sample and 4 percentage points for both the Republicans and Democrats.

Trump also said on Twitter that it "totally vindicates" him.

According to the memo, a number of then top US law enforcement leaders abused their power by inappropriately obtaining a surveillance warrant on Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump presidential campaign until September 2016.

President Donald Trump has now seen a classified memo prepared by House intelligence committee Democrats in the panel's probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The president's attorneys have already signed off on the notion of picking a special counsel to probe US intelligence and law enforcement agencies' actions during the 2016 presidential campaign, Axios reported Monday, citing White House spokesman Raj Shah.

The Democrats' 10-page rebuttal, written by Schiff and staffers, suggests the Republicans' memo is misleading and relies on cherry-picked information meant to discredit the ongoing probe into possible links between Russian agents and the Trump campaign. It's entirely possible. Nunes might be a hopeless Trump partisan, and the thousands of Trump supporters retweeting #ReleaseTheMemo might have irrational ideas about its importance. That case came three years before the 2016 surveillance order described in the Nunes memo.

Democrats have been pushing back against the Republican memo that was declassified by Trump last week.

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Trump's tweet could give Republicans on the committee a reason to vote against releasing Schiff's memo even though many have said they would support eventually making the memo public, and the panel's chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has predicted the committee will approve its release. "I understand why he says things like that, it gins up his base and it may help him politically, but legally it's of no moment".

The FBI and Justice Department deny they've done anything wrong, and they opposed the public release of the memo.

LUCAS: Well, despite attempts from a number of Republicans, and most notably, House Speaker Paul Ryan, to say that the memo fight has nothing to do with Mueller's investigation, the president has made clear that he thinks it has everything to do with Mueller's probe. They fear that Trump is looking for excuses to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel's investigation, and, by extension, Mueller. The Nunes memo alleges that the Federal Bureau of Investigation knew of the partisan agenda behind the dossier but did not tell the surveillance court.

One of the people says Bannon plans to tell Mueller "everything" he knows.

The panel is conducting one of several investigations into whether Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

Billiter, 64, said he was shocked to hear reports that investigators said critical things of Trump, and he would not believe anything that comes out of the Russian Federation investigation unless it comes with a trove of evidence.

Schiff said after Monday's vote that "there is a rising sense of panic clearly at the White House and as well on the Hill (among Republicans)" about Mueller's investigation.

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