Congressional committee invoked an obscure rule in effort to make the classified material public
WASHINGTON—A congressional panel voted on Monday to make public a classified Republican-authored memo that alleges surveillance abuses against an associate of President Donald Trump dating back to the 2016 campaign.
The GOP-led House Intelligence Committee invoked an obscure rule in its effort to release the memo that was drawn from highly classified law-enforcement material and written under the direction of its chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), a close ally of Mr. Trump.
People familiar with the memo say it raises concerns about surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—specifically how a campaign associate of Mr. Trump’s came to be the target of U.S. spying and whether a dossier of salacious and unverified material was used in part to obtain the warrant.
The four-page document has been made available to all House members for more than a week but many GOP lawmakers have been calling for it to be released to the public—with some who have seen the memo saying that it outlined “disturbing” behavior under the previous administration.
Democrats say the document is misleading, cherry-picked and part of a continuing GOP effort to discredit the investigation into whether Mr. Trump or his associates colluded with Russia in its interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and whether the president obstructed justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey, who launched the Russia probe. Mr. Trump has denied there was collusion and that he obstructed justice. Moscow has denied it meddled in the campaign.
After the Intelligence Committee’s vote, the matter now goes to Mr. Trump, who has five days to decide whether to object to the release of the material. If he does, the full House of Representatives can override his decision. If he doesn’t object, the material will be released.