President Trump agreed Saturday to release a redacted version of the Democratic memo that seeks to undercut Republican claims of FBI surveillance abuses.
Democrats on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee defended official investigations into claims of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election in the party memo.
The 10-page, partially-redacted document, which was posted to the panel's website, sharply criticized a previously released Republican memo as a "transparent effort to undermine" investigations by the FBI, Justice Department and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, reports Daily Mail.
The minority's memo has two key points. First, it defends the FBI's obtaining of warrants to conduct temporary surveillance of Carter Page, an associate of President Donald Trump's election campaign, whom the Democrats say 'the FBI assessed to be an agent of the Russian government.'
The second main point in the memo is the Democrats alleged the Republicans are misleading by omitting key facts in their memo in regards to a FISA application that stated ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, was paid by a political entity.
The main allegation in the GOP document was that the FBI and Justice Department did not tell the court enough about Steele's anti-Trump bias or that his work was funded in part by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Democrats have countered that the GOP memo, and House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes of California was misleading in their release of their redacted memo which they call a collection of 'cherry-picked' details.
They noted that federal law enforcement officials had informed the court about the political origins of Steele's work and that some of the former spy's information was corroborated by the FBI.
U.S. House Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff and the minority alleged the majority is misleading by omitting key facts in their memo in regards to a FISA application that stated ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, was paid by a political entity.
The committee's top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California gave insight into why releasing the highly anticipated memo was crucial, and that he preferred it was released sooner than Saturday.
"After reviewing the memorandum drafted by committee Republicans that was made public at the beginning of this month, the FBI rightly expressed its 'grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy,'" Schiff wrote in a press release on the committee's website.
He went into a point by point explanation on what the Republican memo omitted that was cause for concern.
"The FBI supplied information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that Russia might be colluding with Trump campaign associates. DOJ provided the Court with a comprehensive explanation of Russia's election interference including evidence that Russia courted another Trump foreign policy advisor, George Papadopoulos, and that Russian agents previewed their dissemination of information damaging to Hillary Clinton.
"Russian assistance would, as we would learn in the Papadopoulos plea, take the form of the anonymous disclosure of thousands of Hillary Clinton and DNC emails."
Moreover, the FBI was concerned about Trump's campaign adviser Page's ties to Russia.
"The FBI had ample reason to believe that Carter Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power based on his history, including the fact that he had previously been a target of Russian recruitment, his travel to Russia, and other information.
"The renewals of the FISA were also appropriate and based on new information obtained by law enforcement."
"The document that we are releasing today is the product of a good faith negotiation between the Minority and the FBI and DOJ."
"But it is unfortunate that the weekend release of the Democratic memo by the White House was delayed beyond what was necessary and to the advantage of those seeking to mislead the American public."
"Now that the public has a clearer understanding of the early phases of the investigation, it is time for our committee to return to the core investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, the role U.S. persons played in that interference and what we need to do to protect the country going forward," Schiff's release concluded.
The White House, which had initially blocked the release of the Democratic memo, citing its inclusion of sensitive information, again took aim at the now-redacted text.
Deputy spokesman Raj Shah termed it a "political-driven document" that is "loaded with uncorroborated allegations" and "fails to answer serious concerns raised" in the Republican memo.
Devin Nunes, the architect of the Republican text, also criticized the Democratic rebuttal.
"What you're not gonna see is anything that actually rejects what was in our memo," which aimed to show "that FISA abuse had occurred," Nunes said at an annual Republican conference.
Democrats "are advocating that it's OK for the FBI and DOJ to use political dirt paid for by one campaign and use it against the other campaign," he said.
"In the United States of America, that is unacceptable."
US intelligence has concluded that Russia sought to influence the 2016 election that brought Trump to office, but the president has repeatedly denied colluding with Moscow.