Showdown over GOP intelligence memo intensifies, as Democrats call for ouster of Nunes

With President Donald Trump reportedly ready to authorize the release of a Republican memo about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, Democrats called for the head of the House Intelligence Committee to be removed from his post, as they echoed concerns of the FBI about releasing the GOP memo to the public.

“The decision of Chairman Nunes and House Republicans to release a bogus memo has taken the GOP’s cover-up campaign to a new, completely unacceptable extreme,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, as Democrats claimed this was an effort to undermine the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Pelosi reiterated complaints from other Democrats on the intelligence panel, who claim that the GOP memo has been materially changed since a vote earlier this week to release it.

“This action is not only dangerous, it is illegitimate, and violates House rules,” Pelosi added, as she was joined in the call by Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer as well.

“Devin Nunes has disgraced himself,” said Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA). “He needs to step down as Chair. Immediately.”

Backers of Nunes said the Democrats were just looking for any way possible to slow the memo’s release, arguing there had been no material changes made to the document.

While the White House was publicly silent about the GOP memo, Fox News reported Thursday morning that an authorization by the President for release of the four page document was fully expected, probably on Friday.

Meanwhile, a top Senate Republican told reporters that the Nunes memo should be reviewed by members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) told reporters at a GOP legislative retreat that it was not right for Nunes to block key Senators from reviewing the details of the memo.

Nunes has rejected such calls, and firmly pushed back against criticism from the Justice Department and FBI.

“Regardless, it’s clear that top officials used unverified information in a court document to fuel a counter-intelligence investigation during an American political campaign,” Nunes said on Wednesday.

“Once the truth gets out, we can begin taking steps to ensure our intelligence agencies and courts are never misused like this again,” he added.

“It’s time for full transparency,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).

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