A fierce partisan battle over the Justice Department and its role in the Russia investigation moves into its second week Monday as Democrats try to persuade the House Intelligence Committee to release a 10-page rebuttal to a controversial Republican memo alleging surveillance abuse. The panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), is expected to offer a motion to release his party’s response to the Republican document during a committee meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday. It was not immediately clear whether Republicans would join Democrats in voting for the document’s release, as some members of the GOP have expressed concerns about its contents. Speaking Sunday on ABC News, Schiff called the GOP memo a “political hit job on the FBI in service of the president.”
“The goal here really isn’t to find out the answers from the FBI. The goal here is to undermine the FBI, discredit the FBI, discredit the [special counsel] investigation, do the president’s bidding,” Schiff said on “This Week.”
Democrats spent the weekend pushing back against the claim by President Trump and some Republicans that corruption has poisoned the investigation led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin during the 2016 election. Democrats and some Republicans worry that this view, buttressed by the GOP memo, will lead Trump to fire Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees the Russia probe.