Transcript for Republicans continue to argue that a bias exists within the FBI against Trump
And it's great to have you with us here on a very busy Tuesday night. We are here in the nation's capital because president trump will address the nation tonight in his first state of the union address. Focusing on jobs and the economy. But Russia is the breaking headline as we come on the air tonight. The drama playing out right now over a classified memo that reportedly alleges misconduct by top officials at the justice department. The memo written by the staff of house intelligence committee chairman Devin nunes. A fierce defender of the president, and a fierce critic of the Russia investigation. At this hour, Democrats say it is a partisan attempt to discredit the investigation and the special counsel, Robert Mueller. And tonight, we've now learned that that memo will be made public within five days unless the president objects. And that memo is now in the president's hands. ABC's Mary Bruce leading us off from the hill tonight. Reporter: Tonight, the future of the classified Republican memo is now in the president's hands. Republicans argue it exposes political bias at the FBI that may have tainted the early stages of the Russia investigation. Republicans on the house intelligence committee, in an unprecedented move, voted to release it. There may have been malfeasance by people at the FBI. So, it is our job in conducting transparent oversight of the executive branch to get to the bottom of that. Reporter: The memo was written by the staff of Republican intelligence committee chairman Devin nunes, one of the president's top allies. According to "The New York Times," it claims the justice department acted inappropriately when getting a surveillance warrant for former trump campaign advisor Carter page, who they suspected could be a Russian agent. The request to renew that warrant made by deputy attorney general rod Rosenstein, the man overseeing the Russia investigation. Trump supporters say it calls into question the integrity of the Russia probe. This makes watergate looks like a Snickers bar. Reporter: But Democrats say it's nothing more than a political hit job, and accused Republicans of cherry picking the raw intelligence. This committee voted to put the president's personal interest, perhaps their own political interest, above the national interest. Reporter: Democrats produced their own memo with their side of the story, but Republicans say they need more time to review it before it can be released. Why not release all the information at the same time? Do a bipartisan process? We think the Republican memo does that, and we'll treat the Democrat memo exactly the same way. Reporter: The justice department originally said releasing the memo without their review would be "Extraordinarily reckless." Now the FBI director has seen it, but isn't commenting. And the man behind the memo, GOP chairman nunes -- he's not commenting, either. I'm just not addressing any comments outside of the committee. We don't talk committee business in the hallway. Mary Bruce is live up on the hill tonight, and Mary, we were both in the room with Paul Ryan today. I asked speaker Ryan if that memo should be seen by the public. He was emphatic, he said yes, but he didn't say the same thing when we asked about the memo written by the Democrats. The rebuttal. Reporter: Yeah, David. Republicans argue that they need more time to vet this democratic memo before it can be released publicly. Meanwhile, we're told that the president wants that Republican memo to be released publicly, but not before the white house lawyers have time to carefully review it. Tonight, we're told the president still has not seen the memo. If he does not make a decision, David, in these coming days, that memo will be made public.
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