WASHINGTON — Some Democrats are pushing the White House to let the public see the documents viewed by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) that reportedly reflect incidental collection of Trump associates during surveillance activity of foreign subjects — upon which the administration is basing allegations of wrongdoing by former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who requested the unmasking of names.
The idea was floated earlier this week by Democrats on the committee, who haven’t seen the documents in question — except for Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who went to the White House to view them after Nunes’ revelations.
“My belief is the White House is so concerned about this, they can tomorrow declassify those documents, make them public,” Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) told CNN. “If they’re concerned about this, first, handle them more appropriately, take them to the full committee if you’re concerned about unmasking.”
“Clearly, it’s important information,” he added. “But if they’re that fascinated with the American public knowing what really took place, declassify them.”
On Wednesday, committee member Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) issued a dare to the Trump administration, as reported by Politico: “If the president wants to say that Susan Rice committed a crime, he has the power to declassify. No one else does.”
“So, he could actually show us where the crime was,” he added. “I don’t expect he will, because I think this is just more obstructionism.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) picked up the refrain in her weekly press conference today.
“What is weird is the president of the United States, with no information, saying she committed a crime,” Pelosi said of Rice. “Mr. President, declassify the basis of your comment.”
“First, he says the president of the United States, Barack Obama committed a crime. Now it’s Susan Rice. It’s time for him to be president, to take — to be the manager, to be the executive. It’s the executive branch,” she continued. “He boasted of what a great executive he was. Well, I don’t know about that. And so far, I still don’t know about that.”
There was no reaction from the White House today about the Dem requests; press secretary Sean Spicer did not mention Rice at all while speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Mar-a-Lago.