The House Intelligence Committee just voted to release the Democratic rebuttal to the formerly classified memo that the Republicans on the panel, led by Chairman Devin Nunes, made public on Friday, according to a report in The Washington Post this evening.
Now the memo must be approved and declassified by the White House before the public will get the chance to see the Democrat’s detailing of the false and misleading information and erroneous conclusions included in the Republican’s partisan attack on the FBI and Justice Department.
Given the Twitter war that broke out today between President Trump and Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the committee, there’s no guarantee that the President will see fit to declassify a memo rebutting a document that he has declared vindicates and exonerates him from charges of treason, collusion, and obstruction.
Tweeting that Schiff “leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information” and “must be stopped”, Trump is not likely to let the 10-page point-by-point Democratic response out as readily as he approved the release of Nunes “nothing burger” of a memo last week.
The president has five days to declassify the memo, but if he refuses to do so within that time frame, Nunes as Intelligence Committee Chairman can ask the full House of Representatives to override Trump’s decision.
While the mere fact that the Committee voted to release the Democratic rebuttal memo means that the move had the support of at least a few Republicans on the committee where GOP members outnumber the Dems, the approval of a majority of House members is far from certain.
House Speaker Paul “$1.50 per week” Ryan (R-WI) has said that he supports the publication of the Democrat’s document after it is scrubbed of classified information, but the House’s Tea Party-led Freedom Caucus who had been aggressively lobbying for the release of the Nunes memo could potentially block it.