Democrats, Republicans Battle Over Classified Information Released Last Week

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., a close ally of President Donald Trump who has become a fierce critic of the FBI and the Justice Department, strides to a GOP conference followed by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., also a member of the Intelligence Committee, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. Trump last week declassified a document written by the committee's Republican majority that criticized methods the FBI used to obtain a surveillance warrant on a onetime Trump campaign associate. Trump said the GOP memo showed the FBI and Justice Department conspired against him in the Russia probe. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., a close ally of President Donald Trump who has become a fierce critic of the FBI and the Justice Department, strides to a GOP conference followed by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., also a member of the Intelligence Committee, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. Trump last week declassified a document written by the committee’s Republican majority that criticized methods the FBI used to obtain a surveillance warrant on a onetime Trump campaign associate. Trump said the GOP memo showed the FBI and Justice Department conspired against him in the Russia probe. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The House intelligence committee’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election spun further into charges and counter-charges among angry U.S. lawmakers and President Donald Trump as the panel voted to release a second classified memo about whether the FBI and Justice Department conspired against him. This memo was written by Democrats on the panel who are pushing back against a GOP document, declassified by Trump last week, that criticizes the methods the FBI used to obtain a surveillance warrant on a onetime Trump campaign associate.

The Democratic document attempts to counter some of the arguments and evidence put forward by the Republicans. The battle of classified memos has further deepened the partisan divide on the committee, which is supposed to be jointly investigating the Russian meddling and possible connections between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign. It also takes attention from the separate investigations by special counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate intelligence committee.

Trump said over the weekend that the GOP memo “totally vindicates” him. Both Republicans and Democrats disputed that, and Democrats also bemoaned the release of formerly classified information and the possibility the precedent could compromise future investigations.