On Monday afternoon, Republicans voted to release the Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) House Intelligence Committee memo detailing alleged abuses by the intelligence community during the 2016 election. They also voted not to release a Democrat-created response memo penned by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). That dichotomy created a bit of a firestorm in the media: those hypocritical Republicans! But that’s not the whole story: Republicans first voted to make the Nunes memo available to the full House for review before voting to make it public. They want the same process to take place for Schiff’s memo, as Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) states:
So, what’s in the Democratic memo? Purportedly, it’s a mélange of accusations against Republicans, suggesting that they’re misusing FBI malfeasance during the Hillary email investigation as a club to cudgel the Robert Mueller special counsel investigation into Trump-Russia collusion and possible obstruction. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) is already on the offensive against Schiff, suggesting that Schiff and Democrats have played defense on behalf of the FBI:
I think it will be embarrassing to Adam Schiff once people realize the extent to which he went to keep them from learning any of this. … I mean, going to court to help Fusion GPS so we can’t find out they paid for the dossier, and that they were working for the DNC. That’s a pretty big step to go to court to try to keep the American people from learning something. So, if it were up to Adam Schiff, you wouldn’t know about Hillary Clinton’s email. You wouldn’t know about the server. You wouldn’t know about the dossier. I do find it ironic that he has his own memo right now because if it were up to him, we wouldn’t know any of it.
Schiff, for his part, claims that Nunes hasn’t read the underlying classified documents covered in his memo. He told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “The chairman never bothered to go read these underlying materials. After months and months of making this argument that the FBI and DOJ are involved in some sort of conspiracy, he didn’t even bother to read the materials himself.”
Here’s the bottom line: more transparency is better. Let’s redact and release the underlying information at issue. If Republicans are lying to protect Trump, they deserve a public shellacking. If Democrats are spinning to cover for an FBI project to take out Trump, they deserve the same. More information is better. Let the chips fall where they may.