Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, D-California, spoke Thursday morning at the University of Pennsylvania about alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and his Republican counterpart Devin Nunes' quest to release a controversial memo alleging abuse of the FISA surveillance courts during the 2016 election.
The White House is in the final stages of reviewing a classified congressional memo on the Russia investigation that President Donald Trump has said he wants released. Democrats call the memo a "cherry-picked" list of Republican talking points. Against Schiff's strong objections, President Trump is expected to declassify a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses on Friday morning. Schiff Tweeted Wednesday that the letter that Trump will release is not "the same document" the committee has been reviewing since mid-January.
BREAKING: Discovered late tonight that Chairman Nunes made material changes to the memo he sent to White House – changes not approved by the Committee. White House therefore reviewing a document the Committee has not approved for release. pic.twitter.com/llhQK9L7l6— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 1, 2018
REP. ADAM SCHIFF: So as this investigation has moved forward, as the special counsel has moved closer and closer to the inner cirlce of the White House, there is a growing sense of alarm within the White House, and within Republicans on the hill, and so you see this escalation of what began with [Devin Nunes'] midnight run [to the White House]. And that is distract, put the government on trial, and so we have the genesis of 'The Memo.'
What do we know about The Memo?
The Memo is based on highly classified information. The underlying information the chairman never bothered to read. And when the memo was brought up in the committee for a vote to make it accessible to members of the House, I asked my Republican colleagues how many of them had read the underlying material, so you could know whether this is accurate or inaccurate, there wasn't a single hand that went up...
We now know from the FBI, once they finally got a chance to look at it, that the memo is seriously misleading because it omits material information and has deep factual inaccuracies.
But the point, of course, wasn't to make it accurate, it was to make it misleading, the point was to selectively declassify information to support a narrative favorable to the president.
Schiff's full speech and Q&A: