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House Panel Votes to Release Republican Memo on Russia Investigation

House Republicans voted on Monday to release a secret memo on the Russia investigation, apparently condemning the FBI for abusing their power in what they deemed an inappropriate surveillance operation on Carter Page, a former associate for the Trump campaign, The New York Times reported. The decision to release the memo was met with fiery criticism from House Democrats who said the memo was an attempt to undermine the FBI’s work on the Russia inquiry.

The vote to release the classified memo came the same day as Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s effective resignation, a decision he announced to an unsuspecting staff, reported CNN. McCabe was often on the receiving end of several of Trump’s angry tweets about the Russia Investigation, accusing him of having ties to the Clintons and former FBI director James Comey.

The memo reportedly argues that in order to obtain the warrant, the FBI had to show probable cause of Page’s Russian collusion, and that the government “did not disclose that information in the application came from research paid for by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign,” wrote The New York Times.

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However, Democrats have counter-argued that Republicans “cherry-picked” the facts in order to forward their own beliefs about the legitimacy of the Russia investigation, The New York Times reported.

On Saturday, before the vote, Representative Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) tweeted that “It comes as no surprise that @POTUS would place his own interests ahead of the country. But it is tragic that so many Republican Members of Congress would choose to help him do so.” He also told the Times after the vote that Republicans were trying “to selectively and misleadingly characterize classified information in an effort to protect the president at any cost” and “to politicize the intelligence process.”

 In the move to release the Republican memo, the House also rejected a motion to simultaneously release the Democrats’ memo, according to the Times.  Trump has five days from the time of Monday’s vote to decide if the memo will go public. On Tuesday, the  Washington Post  reported that Trump told a Congressman he would “100 percent” choose to release the memo, despite warnings by the Justice Department and law enforcement that it would undercut present and future FBI research.

In the move to release the Republican memo, the House also rejected a motion to simultaneously release the Democrats’ memo, according to the Times.

Trump has five days from the time of Monday’s vote to decide if the memo will go public. On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that Trump told a Congressman he would “100 percent” choose to release the memo, despite warnings by the Justice Department and law enforcement that it would undercut present and future FBI research.