- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee publicly accused the panel’s Republican chairman Wednesday evening of secretly altering a classified report that the committee had approved for release.

In a letter to Chairman Devin Nunes of California that he later posted on Twitter, Rep. Adam Schiff of California said that the panel’s Democrats had just learned that evening that the memo sent to the White House for Justice and national-security officials to review was not the same document the committee had voted on.

“It is clear that the [Republican] Majority made material changes to the version it sent to the White House, which Committee members were never apprised of,” Mr. Schiff’s letter said.

White House [is] therefore reviewing a document the Committee has not approved for release,” Mr. Schiff wrote on Twitter.

A Nunes spokesman dismissed the concerns, telling CNN that the changes were not substantive and some even requested by the Democrats.

“In its increasingly strange attempt to thwart publication of the memo, the Committee Minority is now complaining about minor edits to the memo, including grammatical fixes and two edits requested by the FBI and by the Minority themselves,” spokesman Jack Langer said.

Mr. Schiff’s tweet accused Mr. Nunes personally of making the changes, though his letter, which called them “deeply troubling,” is less specific.

Mr. Schiff’s letter concludes that the changes make it “now imperative that the Committee immediately withdraw the document that it sent to the White House” and hold a new vote.

Otherwise, the letter claims, “there is no longer a valid basis for” the executive branch to review the Nunes memo, which reportedly accuses the FBI of misconduct designed to hurt President Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

“The fact that the Majority found it necessary to make these changes without informing the Committee during the vote signifies that the Committee Majority no longer stands by the representation it made to House members in its original document,” the letter said.

But Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, quickly backed his colleague, issuing a statement that accused Mr. Nunes of “seemingly stop[ping] at nothing to undermine the rule of law and interfere with the Russia probe.

“He’s been willing to carry the White House’s water, attack our law enforcement and intelligence officials, and now to mislead his House colleagues. If Speaker Ryan cares about the integrity of the House or the rule of law, he will put an end to this charade once and for all,” Mr. Schumer concluded.

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