Democrats plan to counter GOP attacks on the FBI with a secret memo of their own

Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesRep. Devin Nunes, right, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff, its ranking member.
  • Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have drafted a memo countering Republicans’ claims that the FBI and the Department of Justice are biased against President Donald Trump, the committee’s ranking member says.
  • The ranking member, Rep. Adam Schiff, said he would introduce a memo on Monday detailing what he described as the “misleading” nature of Republicans’ attacks.
  • Republicans and Democrats have been at odds for months over the conduct of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

The House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, threatened Wednesday to expose Republicans who he says have attacked the FBI and the Department of Justice in an attempt to discredit the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Republicans are clamoring for intelligence officials to publicly release a memo written by the committee’s Republican chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, and his aides outlining purported illegal surveillance by the Obama administration during the transition period after President Donald Trump’s election.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida has described the contents of the memo as “jaw-dropping,” while Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina said he was “shocked to read exactly what has taken place.”

The FBI and the DOJ have resisted calls to authorise the memo’s release, citing concerns about the classified nature of some information in the document.

Democrats, meanwhile, dispute the way Republicans are characterising the memo.

In a tweet Wednesday, Schiff called it a “spin memo.” In a later statement, he described it as a “highly misleading” document outlining Republicans’ attacks against the FBI and the DOJ.

“This represents another effort to distract from the Russia probe and undermine the Special Counsel,” Schiff said. “With this latest gambit, however, the Majority seeks to selectively and misleadingly characterise classified information in an effort to protect the President at any cost.”

Schiff says he plans to introduce to the committee on Monday a memo produced by Democrats to counter Republicans’ claims that top officials leading the Russia investigation are biased against Trump.

“We need to produce our own memo that lays out the actual facts and show how the majority memo distorts the work of the FBI and the Department of Justice,” Schiff told The Washington Post.

Republicans this week intensified their scrutiny over the integrity of the FBI and the DOJ amid a senator’s claims of an anti-Trump “secret society” within the FBI and news that the bureau was unable to save thousands of text messages exchanged between two officials found to have been critical of Trump.

Some Republicans have called for a second special counsel to investigate potential bias and corruption within top law-enforcement circles.

Trump has led the charge. Last month, he claimed the FBI’s reputation was “in Tatters – worst in History!”

He has also repeatedly criticised Mueller’s investigation into his campaign’s dealings with Russia before the 2016 election and insisted he did nothing wrong.

“There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes,” he tweeted earlier this month. “Russia & the world is laughing at the stupidity they are witnessing. Republicans should finally take control!”

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.