The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, has been criticising the GOP’s response to the FBI wanting to make sure the FISA memo they recently released had no important national security information in it, then turns around and criticises the FBI for not allowing the Democratic memo to be released, reports Politico.
Schiff said on Wednesday that the FBI and Justice Department are asking for an excessive amount of redactions from the memo written by Democrats to rebuke the GOP memo that asserts the FBI unlawfully spied on a Trump campaign adviser.
Schiff said FBI and Justice Department officials have flagged “everything that isn’t already a matter of public record” from the memo, whose release President Donald Trump blocked last week on national security grounds.
Trump had agreed to declassify the Republican memo that suggests wrongdoing by senior FBI officials, which Democrats have then called misleading and a diversion from the federal probe into Trump’s Russia ties.
Speaking at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington, Schiff speculated that “the White House must have asked” the FBI and Justice Department to raise these broad concerns.
Complaining that the officials’ requests would leave little of value in the memo, Schiff urged a focus on “redactions that are necessary to protect sources and methods,” Politico reports. Trump had directed the Justice Department to work with Democrats to make sure there were no sensitive sources or methods within the memo.
Schiff said the goal of the FBI review of his memo shouldn’t be to strike all classified material — which was drawn from sensitive intelligence files — but to determine which information can safely be released.
Schiff says that this matter was already discussed with the committee and that they had all voted to declassify the memo.
Schiff’s comments on the FBI’s pushback to his memo is the clearest window yet into what revisions and redactions the FBI and the Trump White House are seeking in order to support the release of the Democratic memo.
Schiff really emphasized how the FBI hadn’t objected to the facts in the Democratic memo and said that everything the bureau wanted to be removed from his memo which he says would have provided facts that the GOP memo excluded.
“I think the question ought to be, is there anything that can’t be declassified in the public interest because [of] sources and methods and investigative interests,” he said. “We’re trying to identify that very narrow subset that we can redact. So, in our view, even looking at what the FBI has identified as still classified, a lot of that is already in the public domain.”
Carter Page, the former Trump campaign adviser, is the person who was subjected unlawful surveillance done to him by the FBI, so says the GOP memo. In that memo, the GOP claims that it was because of the salacious dossier was written by Christopher Steele which then allowed a warrant to be issued for Carter Page, who is suspected of having ties to Russian government officials.
You can’t have it both ways Sen. Schiff, who either support the FBI in their efforts to not leak classified national security information or you don’t. Make up your mind.