Partisan Rancor Ramps Up Over Schiff FISA Memo

As Dems call POTUS hypocrite for withholding memo, GOP says it was unfair

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, is the author of the Democratic response to the House GOP FISA memo. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The usual suspects have shouldered their political quivers as debate rages over the White House’s decision to withhold a Democratic House Intelligence Committee memo rebutting one from the Republican side.

Over the weekend, Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee and the memo’s primary curator, repeatedly hammered the president for releasing the Republican memo but not the Democratic one, calling it a hypocritical move.

“The hypocrisy of President Trump’s decision to block release of the Democratic memo reaches out and grabs you by the throat,” the California Democrat tweeted Sunday. “This is a president who puts his own personal interest above all else.”

New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler also weighed in.

“The Schiff memo lays out an accurate description of the government’s case against Carter Page, [while] the Nunes memo deliberately distorts the record for partisan purposes,” Nadler tweeted Sunday, referring to Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes. “Trump cannot hide from the facts forever.”

Some Republicans say the Democratic characterization of the memo back-and-forth is unfair. They allege Schiff intentionally injected his memo with a heavy dose of classified material to prevent the president from green-lighting its quick release.

“I’m convinced that they don’t want it to be released,” GOP Rep. Tom Garrett of Virginia said on Saturday. “They’d have to redact significant portions again without getting into the contents.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida expressed concern over the haste with which Schiff compiled his memo in response to the GOP memo.

“Not all memos were drafted or created equally,” Gaetz said on Fox News Sunday. “The Nunes memo was drafted over the course of a year ... the Schiff memo was hastily prepared as a political response.”

The House can vote to override the president and unilaterally release the memo via an obscure chamber rule.

Democrats in both the House and Senate are pressuring the GOP majority to do just that, though it is unclear if Republicans will agree to defy the president.

“Let the House vote on releasing the Democratic response to #NunesMemo — already rightly approved unanimously by Intel Committee,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut tweeted Sunday. “Responsible bipartisan majority should prevail over Trump lackeys and lapdogs.”

Watch: What’s Congress’ Role in the Russia Investigation? One Senator Explains

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