The decision comes after House Intel chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) demanded this week his committee be granted access to the FISA documents and other Electronic Communication, known as EC, that led to the initiation of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.
In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray, Nunes threatened legal action if the DOJ did not release the documents, which Nunes subpoenaed last August. Since then, the DOJ has avoided providing Nunes with the documents he requested.
The DOJ said it would allow all members from both committees to view the highly classified documents in a secure location. It’s rare for agency to allow FISA documents to be viewed, but the DOJ said “unique facts and circumstances” forced its hand.
“The Department and the FBI agree to permit all members of the Committee to review the FISA applications and renewals in camera at the Department,” Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said in a letter.
Previously, the DOJ allowed just two members of the House Intel Committee to view the documents. Schiff viewed the FISA documents and so did Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), whom Nunes designated to take his place.
The FISA applications have been the subject of scrutiny for months after Nunes released a much anticipated “memo” addressing the Page situation, which Republicans claimed was improper government surveillance.
Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, led by ranking member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), later released a counter-memo, rebuffing many claims made in Nunes’ memo.