The House Intelligence Committee released a heavily redacted Democratic memorandum (.pdf) on Saturday rebutting Republican claims that top F.B.I. and Justice Department officials had abused their powers in spying on a former Trump campaign aide.
The New York Times reports, 2 Weeks After Trump Blocked It, Democrats’ Rebuttal of G.O.P. Memo Is Released (paragraphs reordered for greater clarity):
The Democratic memo amounted to a forceful rebuttal to the president’s portrayal of the Russia inquiry as a “witch hunt” being perpetrated by politically biased leaders of the F.B.I. and the Justice Department.
The Democratic memo underwent days of review by top law enforcement officials after the president blocked its outright release two weeks ago, with the White House counsel warning that the document “contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages.” On Saturday afternoon, after weeks of haggling over redactions, the department returned the document to the committee so it could make it public.
The release was expected to be the final volley, at least for now, in a bitter partisan fight over surveillance that has driven deep fissures through the once-bipartisan Intelligence Committee.
For weeks, instead of focusing its full energy on investigating an attack on the American democratic system, the committee has been pulled into a furious effort by Mr. Trump and his allies to sow doubts about the integrity of the special counsel inquiry and the agencies conducting it.
The newfound animosity toward the F.B.I. among ostensibly law-and-order Republicans was reflected this past week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where speakers like Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association, attacked what they called its “rogue leadership.”