Why Are Intel Committee Democrats Trying to Keep Dossier Information Away From Fellow House Members?

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, speaks after a closed meeting on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, speaks after a closed meeting on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Yesterday, the House Intelligence Committee voted, unanimously as far as I can tell, to release some seven-hours of deceit, half-truths, and outright prevarications reeled off by Fusion GPS founder and Trump dossier godfather, Glenn Simpson. Then a second vote took place. It was not so unanimous.

A couple of weeks ago, Devin Nunes and Peter King started floating the idea that all members of the House should be able to see the information the House Intelligence Committee has developed on how the Trump dossier was compiled and how it was used. This was shortly after the showdown Nunes had with Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein over production of witnesses and documents.

Via the Washington Examiner:

One of the most vexing problems of the Trump dossier probe has been that much of the evidence involved is classified and thus hidden from public view. House and Senate investigators are tightly constrained from revealing key aspects of the dossier affair. There is, for example, the question of whether the FBI and Justice Department used the unverified allegations in the dossier as evidence to win a secret court warrant to spy on Americans. Members and staff in both House and Senate know the answer. But it is classified, and they can’t talk.

Now, the House Intelligence Committee has taken a first step toward what might become public disclosure of key facts in the dossier investigation. It is a halfway step, and will not immediately reveal anything to the public, but it is a beginning.

At the committee’s meeting Thursday morning, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., offered a motion to allow all House members to review a brief report prepared by the Republican majority summarizing the panel’s investigation into what GOP members call “FISA abuse.” (That is a reference to the secret court set up by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.) The motion passed the committee on a party-line vote.

The report answers the question of whether the FBI and Justice used the dossier for one or more surveillance warrants, plus other issues. But the answer, of course, is classified. (Just for the record, I have not seen the report and don’t know its contents.)

There will be no copies of the report handed out to House members. Instead, a copy will be made available for them to read in a secure room in the Capitol. They won’t be able to take the report out of the room. But they will know the answers to the questions.

https://twitter.com/seanmdav/status/954032333300092928

https://twitter.com/seanmdav/status/954032333300092928

I think those two points by Sean Davis basically cover it. There is no logical reason why, given the nature of the allegations, that the House Intelligence Committee should keep other House members in the dark. There is really no reason they should keep America in the dark, but we’ll let that go for the time. And the fact that the FBI and Justice turned over a lot of documents and Adam Schiff hasn’t leaked any of them indicates that there is nothing good in it for the Trump Dossier proponents.