Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) is the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, and he appears to be playing a dangerous game with the Democrat rebuttal to Republican memo written by Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA).  Released last week, the Nunes memo alleges that the FBI under Comey and Obama used questionable means to obtain FISA warrants on at least one member of then-candidate Trump’s campaign team.

The House Intelligence Committee voted to release the Nunes memo, and the White House insisted on redactions after consulting with the FBI and others in the intelligence community.

Democrats immediately wanted to issue a rebuttal memo, and Schiff set about constructing one.  This should not have been issue, as they have every right to rebut the Republican memo.

However, Schiff—who recently made the bizarre allegation that Russians are using the 2nd Amendment to “get Americans to kill each other”—appears to have purposefully loaded the Democrat rebuttal memo with sensitive materials in order to set the stage for undermining President Trump.

Fox News reports:

The Democratic rebuttal to a highly publicized GOP memo alleging government surveillance abuse is filled with sensitive details, a source told Fox News – claiming this was done intentionally to pressure the White House to either block the memo’s release or significantly redact it.

. . . .  “The White House has received a memorandum from the minority members of the House Select Permanent Committee on Intelligence. As stated many times, the Administration will follow the same process and procedure with this memorandum from the minority as it did last week, when it received the memorandum from the majority,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

The source who spoke to Fox News has read the Democrats’ rebuttal memo, and said it is filled with information on sources and methods taken from original documents.

While the source described this as a way to put the White House in a difficult spot, Schiff maintained publicly that he wants to make sure the White House “does not redact our memo for political purposes.” A Schiff aide referred Fox News back to those comments when asked about the claim that the memo intentionally contained sources and methods.

The Democrat’s Schiff memo has not been released, but Nunes says that he is not surprised that the White House is asking for redaction of the national security sources and methods.

The Washington Examiner reports:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said “it’s no surprise” that the Justice Department recommended to President Trump that he block the release of the Democratic memo without redactions.

“Along with other Intelligence Committee Republicans, I had warned that the Democratic memo contains many sources and methods,” Nunes said in a statement late Friday. “Ranking Member [Adam] Schiff pledged to seek the input of the Department of Justice and FBI regarding the memo’s public release, and it’s no surprise that these agencies recommended against publishing the memo without redactions.”

 

Why indeed?

The answer seems clear.  Schiff is making the media rounds claiming that President Trump has a “double-standard” about release of sensitive materials and is trumpeting Trump’s “newfound respect for the FBI,” while completely ignoring the redactions made to the Nunes memo at the FBI’s request.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, quipped that the White House suddenly has a “newfound admiration for the FBI” after President Trump declined to release the memo prepared by Democratic members of the panel.

That being one week after Trump allowed the release of the GOP memo about alleged U.S. government surveillance abuses over the protestations of the Justice Department and FBI, Schiff explained during an interview with Bill Maher on his HBO show “Real Time.”

“This week, though, the White House apparently has a newfound admiration for the FBI,” Schiff said. “We wouldn’t want to release anything that the FBI might be concerned about.”

Schiff had set the stage for his gamesmanship earlier in the week.

The New York Times reports:

Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the committee, had said earlier in the week that he feared that Mr. Trump would play politics with the dueling memos.

Mr. Schiff, who has traded bitter Twitter messages with the president after Mr. Trump called him one of “the biggest liars and leakers” in Washington, warned this week that Mr. Trump might call for “political edits” intended to erase embarrassing parts of the memo, not information related to national security.

It seems clear that Schiff purposefully loaded his memo with items he knew would need to be redacted so that he could later attack the president as a hypocrite.

Schiff’s clumsy and amateur attempt to play with the big dogs is simultaneously cute and cringe-worthy.  He’s no match for Trump, and the Democrats lose this one.  Bigly.