Democrats release redacted memo pushing back on GOP claims of DOJ abuse of government surveillance powers

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have released a redacted memo.

Democrats spent a week negotiating redactions to the memo with the FBI ahead of its release Saturday. The negotiations wrapped up last week, according to a committee official, and the panel received the memo from the DOJ on Saturday afternoon.

Democrats say the document is a rebuttal to claims made in a Republican-authored memo released by the committee.

"The Democratic response memo released today should put to rest any concerns that the American people might have as to the conduct of the FBI, the Justice Department and the FISC," Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, the top Democrat on the committee, said in a statement Saturday.

"As the President has long stated, neither he nor his campaign ever colluded with a foreign power during the 2016 election, and nothing in today’s memo counters that fact,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

President Trump also took to Twitter Saturday to call the Democratic memo "a total political and legal bust" that "confirms all of the terrible things that were done. So Illegal!"

In their memo, Democrats said law enforcement "cited multiple sources" of reasons to be interested in Page, and properly disclosed them to the FISA court while only making "narrow" use of the information from the so-called Steele dossier.

Democrats also claimed that the DOJ, in subsequent FISA renewal applications, "provided additional information obtained through multiple independent sources that corroborated Steele’s reporting" about Page’s meetings with Russian officials in Moscow in 2016.

The Democratic memo said the dossier "did not inform the FBI’s decision to initiate its counterintelligence investigation" and also said FISA court was told there was evidence the Russians "took interest" in Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos.

Democrats revealed in their memo that the FBI had already opened "sub-inquiries into...individuals linked to the Trump campaign" by the time the Steele dossier made its way to the agents conducting the Russia counterintelligence probe in September 2016. The names of those other individuals are redacted in the memo.

Democrats also claimed that the DOJ "provided additional information obtained through multiple independent sources that corroborated" Steele’s information.

Page called the memo a "smear campaign" against him and called for the “immediate disclosure of all my FISA applications and other relevant documents,” in a statement Saturday evening.

"This latest smear campaign by DNC loyalists is going to turn out the same way as their original multi-million dollar attack of 2016," Page said in the statement. "As we’ve seen many times before with the felonious news leaks of the past year, this new round of misinformation surrounding efforts by Washington to illegally influence the 2016 election inflicts even more damages on the instigating perpetrators from the swamp."

The situation has become so unworkable that the committee is planning to build a physical barrier between Republican and Democratic staff in their shared secure office space in the basement of the Capitol, according to sources familiar with the situation.