Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee released a statement Friday after visiting the White House to view intelligence documents shared with his Republican counterpart a week ago.
The classified information shared with House Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes sparked an uproar when Nunes then briefed President Donald Trump on the documents and left his colleagues on the committee out of the loop.
Schiff on Friday slammed the White House’s handling of the information, saying “If the White House had any concern over these materials, they should have been shared with the full committees in the first place as a part of our ordinary oversight responsibilities.”
Schiff also called on the White House to explain why it initially shared the documents with only Nunes, rather than all of the interested parties.
Nunes’ visit to the White House nearly stalled the committee’s investigation into alleged contacts between Trump associates and Russia during the election. Nunes had asserted that the information suggested members of the Trump transition may have been caught up in routine surveillance operations after the election.
Trump had taken that revelation as vindication for his debunked claim that former President Barack Obama had Trump wiretapped during the transition.
In viewing what Schiff said where the same documents shared with Nunes, Schiff said on Friday: “Nothing I could see today warranted a departure from the normal review procedures.” Schiff called for the full contents of the documents to be shared with all members of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.
Read Schiff’s full statement below:
“Today my staff director and I reviewed materials at the White House. It was represented to me that these are precisely the same materials that were provided to the Chairman over a week ago. While I cannot discuss the content of the documents, if the White House had any concern over these materials, they should have been shared with the full committees in the first place as a part of our ordinary oversight responsibilities.
Nothing I could see today warranted a departure from the normal review procedures, and these materials should now be provided to the full membership of both committees. The White House has yet to explain why senior White House staff apparently shared these materials with but one member of either committee, only for their contents to be briefed back to the White House.”
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