Rep. Adam B. Schiff said Tuesday he’s still negotiating with the FBI over classified information in his memo concerning alleged surveillance abuses, and accused the White House of trying to protect its image rather than worrying about national security.
The California Democrat said he’s not sure whether his negotiations with the FBI will be done this week, but was confident the issues will eventually be resolved.
Mr. Schiff wrote his memo to counter a GOP memo that said the FBI used politically tainted data and misled a secret court in seeking approval to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign official, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
President Trump approved release of the GOP memo earlier this month, finding it didn’t reveal critical sources or methods of intelligence gathering. But he sent the Schiff memo back last week for more work, saying it would betray national security interests.
Mr. Schiff said he’s willing to make some changes but accused the White House of political motives.
“We are not going to make any revisions to it the only question is what redactions will be made and obviously we would like to keep those to a minimum,” he said. “The White House has a different interest. I think their interest is in redacting anything that doesn’t reflect well on the White House. The president had no concern over the GOP memo notwithstanding all the warnings from the FBI, the Justice Department, but we’re dealing with it responsibly and hope to get it out as soon as possible.”
Republicans say the FBI’s requests for surveillance of Mr. Page were based in significant part on a salacious and unverified dossier put together by former British spy Christopher Steele.
The dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee, and according to the GOP memo, the FBI did not fully disclose that to the FISA court when it sought a warrant.
Democrats say the GOP memo mischaracterizes the FBI’s behavior and the extent of other information provided to the court to justify the FISA warrant.