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House committee OKs release of Dem memo refuting Nunes Russian probe FISA abuse claims

The House Intelligence Committee voted Wednesday to release a Democratic memo rebutting contentions in a similar document penned by the staff of Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., arguing that the FBI abused its surveillance authority when it sought a FISA warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

After first refusing last week to release the 10-page memo authored by Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the Committee relented and the document's fate now lies with President Trump who gave the go-ahead last week for the four-page Nunes memo to be made public - that document was released Friday and contends that investigators probing Russian interference in U.S. democracy and possible collusion between Trump team members and Russian operatives didn't inform the FISA court that it used research from a controversial dossier on Trump paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign to support the FISA application.

Schiff and other Democrats on the Committee have called the Nunes memo, which purports to sum up hundreds of pages of intelligence, nothing more than Republican talking points meant to taint or derail the Russian probe led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Nunes, who recused himself from the House committee's Russian probe, has confirmed that he did not view the underlying intelligence summed up in the memo.

A six-page response released by Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., over the weekend likely hints at the points that will be included in the Democrats' memo. Nadler, who is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee and has viewed the FISA warrant

Nadler accused House Republicans of being “part and parcel to an organized effort to obstruct” the Mueller probe, noting that the Nunes memo didn't prove that the dossier, put together by former British spy and Russian expert Christopher Steele, “is false or inaccurate in any way,” that it was the sole source behind the surveillance application, or that investigators deliberately misled the FISA court when seeking a warrant on Page, whose associations with Russian operatives first came to light nearly five years ago in a separate investigation of a Russian spy ring based in New York.

"Indeed, we have every indication that the government made its application to the court in good faith," Nadler wrote.

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