Here’s how Congress can #ReleaseTheMemo

· January 23, 2018  
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Obama spying
Flickr | DonkeyHotey

Congressional watchdogs are moving to release a four-page memo to the American public. It contains reportedly damaging information on the Obama administration’s alleged abuse of United States government surveillance to spy on the Trump campaign.

“It was deeply disturbing as anyone who’s been in law enforcement and any American will find out once they have the opportunity to review it,” Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Ohio, told Fox News on Monday. Joyce is one of several federal lawmakers claiming to have read the document.

While President Trump could immediately declassify the information with the stroke of a pen, going through the House Intelligence committee could take almost a month. Here’s how that works, according to House rules:

  1. An Intelligence Committee member requests that information in the committee’s possession be declassified.
  2. The committee then votes on whether or not to approve the declassification.
  3. If the measure passes the committee vote, it then goes to the president, who has five days to decide whether or not to approve the declassification.
  4. If he does not objecting in writing, saying that the information’s “threat to the national interest of the United States” would outweigh the public interest in releasing the information, then the information can go public.
  5. If he does object, however, then the information can be referred to the full House of Representatives for a vote, pending a vote from the full Intelligence Committee.

One caveat to this is that while Trump has been exceedingly vocal about shady deep state tactics allegedly used to gather information on his campaign, his administration has been reluctant to publicly expose other information that would help make that case.

Furthermore, the House rules — unlike the Senate rules — do not explicitly allow the chamber to partially disclose information, meaning that with this memo, it’s likely all or nothing.


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Author: Nate Madden

Nate Madden is CRTV’s congressional correspondent. Follow him @NateMaddenCRTV or send tips to [email protected].