Jan 19, 2018

House Republicans demand release of classified FISA abuses memo

House Intel Chair Devin Nunes. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Conservative members of the House are calling for the release of a classified House Intelligence Committee memo, apparently drafted by GOP committee members, that outlines how the controversial Trump-Russia Steele dossier was purportedly used as a pretext for the FBI to obtain FISA wiretaps against American citizens.

Why they’re fighting: After a party line committee vote allowed members to read the classified memo yesterday, it was highlighted in a segment on Fox News’ Hannity last night. That prompted Republicans like Mark Meadows, who spoke earlier in the evening on the House floor about the memo, and Steve King to promote its release via social media with the hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo while House Intel’s ranking Democrat Adam Schiff blasted its contents as “a profoundly misleading set of talking points.”

Some prominent #ReleaseTheMemo tweets:

The statement from House Intel's ranking Democrat, Adam Schiff:

[T]he Majority voted today on a party-line basis to grant House Members access to a profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI and its handling of the investigation. Rife with factual inaccuracies and referencing highly classified materials that most of Republican Intelligence Committee members were forced to acknowledge they had never read, this is meant only to give Republican House members a distorted view of the FBI.
This may help carry White House water, but it is a deep disservice to our law enforcement professionals.

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India gives Trump warm welcome as brutal protests rip New Delhi apart

People supporting India's new citizenship law beat a Muslim man in New Delhi, India. Photo: Danish Siddiqui/TPX/Reuters

While President Trump enjoys a hero's welcome in India, that nation's capital is being torn apart by violent protests between Hindus and Muslims.

The state of play: At least 186 people — 56 police officers and 130 protesters — have been injured and 10 killed in recent clashes, a New Delhi police spokesperson told the AP.

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Scoop: Israel cancels academic's lectures for criticizing Netanyahu's Iran policy

Prime Minister Netanyahu. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has ordered its embassies in Russia, Canada and Bulgaria to cancel planned speaking events by an Israeli academic and prominent Iran expert, claiming he criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy on the Iranian nuclear program, officials told me.

Why it matters: For many years, the Israeli Foreign Ministry would send Israeli academics who disagree with the government on speaking tours around the world in order to convey the strength of Israeli democracy. Israeli diplomats view the move against the academic as a sign of retaliation and growing fear of dissent on politically charged issues.

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