The House Intelligence Committee took two votes, one was to release the highly publicized testimony from Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, and it appears the measure passed unanimously. The other passed strictly along party lines, with Democratic committee members attempting to block the release of a brief report which summarizes the Obama era FBI/DOJ FISA abuses, which reportedly also includes the answer as to whether the FBI and/or the DOJ used the discredited, and unverified, Steele dossier to obtain FISA warrant to surveil the Trump campaign team members.
The vote wasn't even to to release the summary to the public because it contains classified information, the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee were attempting to block the rest of the 435 members of Congress from being allowed to see whether the FBI and DOJ, under Obama, had abused their positions in order to spy on an opposing party's presidential candidate and president-elect.
WHY THIS IS SO IMPORTANT
The bottom line answer to this is that Democrats on the committee attempted to prevent the rest of the House of Representatives from seeing the proof that the Obama administration violated keys aspects of the law, abused the system, and did so with impunity, until now.
That was the long story short, feel free to follow the links for the detailed versions.
In December 2017, after the ethics committee cleared Nunes, he announced that as the investigation had progressed they had uncovered evidence of "abuse" on the part of the intelligence community during the Obama presidency.
“I believe there's evidence that abuses have occurred," Nunes said in his first interview since the House Ethics Committee dismissed allegations he had wrongly released classified information as part of the panel’s Russia investigation.
"We have had an ongoing investigation into DOJ [Department of Justice] and FBI since mid-summer for both FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] abuse and other matters that we can't get into too much. But it is very concerning."
Nune's stated at the time "I hate to use the word corrupt, but they become so dirty that, who is watching the watchmen? Who is investigating these people? There is no one."
Now, evidence that Democrats and Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have had for over a week, can be seen by the full House of Representatives, via a secure room since information within the brief report is still classified. They will know, but as of now, the public will not.... unless of course Gateway Pundit is right in saying "let the leaking begin."
Co-founder of the Federalist, Sean Davis states, via Twitter "Schiff and the rest of the House Intel Democrats saw the DOJ/FBI/FISA docs on the dossier over a week ago. The lack of any leaks plus their votes today to block release of that info suggest the documents are catastrophically bad for Dems."
Note- A fair amount of snark there as it was Schiff that is believed to have leaked information from the classified testimony of Donald Trump Jr., during the testimony, to CNN, that Wikileaks had provided him with an encryption code to a release before they had released it to the public, only to later have to correct their report, showing the email sent to Don Jr. had been sent by someone else, after Wikileaks had already released the information in question to the public, therefore negating the entire implication that there was some type of collusion between Don Jr. and Wikileaks.
The implication by Davis is clear, had the information contained in the report vindicated Democrats or the Obama administration, Schiff or his Democratic cohorts would have been leaking like a faucet, but since not a peep has been leaked to the mainstream media in over a week about the report, it is damaging to Democrats and the intelligence community from the Obama era.
The fact that Democrats fought so hard to prevent even the full House of Representatives from seeing this report, gives more credence to three sources, two congressional members, one person in the DOJ, that told Sean Hannity, "100 percent the dossier was used at least in part, one person said was significantly a part of getting the FISA warrant." Sara Carter from Circa had also received confirmation from a variety of sources that "the dossier was absolutely used as part of the FBI's ability to gain a warrant to basically spy on members of the Trump campaign."
In the video clip from that discussion, Hannity and Carter are joined by chairman of the Freedom Caucus Rep. Mark Meadows and former chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, where Meadows argued at the time to "let every member have access, not only to that FISA application, but to all the outstanding work that Chairman Nunes has put forth in terms of gathering documents." He went on to state, "it is time that every member has the access to those documents. So we are calling on our leadership to make that available."
Rep. Jordan takes it a step further, saying that once the full House gets to see this information, then the chorus will grow stronger to "declassify this, make this public so the American people can understand once and for all what exactly happened."
Watch the entire segment, because there are members of Congress, fighting for transparency, not only to the full Congress, but so that the general public, "we the people" that pay their salaries, can be informed of exactly what was done, whether the DOJ/FBI and the Obama administration abused their positions in order to frame a President-elect from the opposing party.
Which raises another question: When will the public know? Obviously, the more House members know about the dossier investigation, the more likely its classified results are to leak. That might happen at any time.
But Republicans can pursue another strategy, as well. The House itself can declassify documents under certain conditions. If enough members support declassifying the House Intel report, then the House as a body could move to declassify the information in it. And then the public would know.
It's unclear whether that will happen. Much depends on lawmakers' reaction to the report. But after months of delays and frustration, things appear to be moving quickly on the dossier front. They'll likely move faster in coming days, after more lawmakers have taken a look at the new report.
While it has taken over a year to get to this point, York is right, seeing this vote to allow all members of Congress to have access to the information contained in the report, a little over one week since the information became available, is incredibly fast in terms of how long Congressional actions generally take, which means things are heating up pretty quickly now.
As to why this is so very important.... if the unverified, Clinton and DNC funded, Kremlin sourced, Steele dossier was used in any way to commit fraud against the FISA court in order to obtain the surveillance on the Trump campaign after the election, then every single bit of evidence obtained by the special counsel or any other investigative body, including the intelligence community, that stemmed from that FISA warrant, is all "fruit of the poisonous tree," and cannot be used in a court of law.
Fruit of the Poisonous Tree- A doctrine that extends the exclusionary rule to make evidence inadmissible in court if it was derived from evidence that was illegally obtained. As the metaphor suggests, if the evidential "tree" is tainted, so is its "fruit." The doctrine was established in 1920 by the decision in Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, and the phrase "fruit of the poisonous tree" was coined by Justice Frankfurter in his 1939 opinion in Nardone v. United States.
The bottom line question is obvious: What are Democrats so scared of in the Steele dossier report that they actually voted against allowing the their fellow congress men and women from seeing it?