Trump Blocks Release of Democratic Memo, Cites Security Concerns

Pauline Gross
February 15, 2018

The Republican memo portrayed the Russian Federation investigation as a product of political bias at the FBI and Justice Department against Mr Trump.

Presidential lawyer Donald F. McGhan II says the second memo "contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages" and should be revised.

The Democratic memo reportedly rebuts claims in the GOP document that investigators misled a judge when seeking a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

"This is a president who puts his own personal interests above the national security interest of the country", Schiff said.

Democrats on the intelligence committee complained the Republicans' four-page memo cherry-picked facts and explained events out of context and was thus not accurate, sparking their wish for a rebuttal. Trump might have been able to obstruct the release of a memo, but soon he might be powerless to stop Schiff and the Russian Federation investigation. That's odd, because the Federal Bureau of Investigation - which is administered by the DOJ - vigorously objected to the release of the Nunes memo over "material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy".

Congressional Democrats and Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan have said it shouldn't be used to undermine the special counsel.

At the committee's Monday meeting where it voted to release the memo, Nunes expressed concerns that the Democratic memo went further than the Republican document in disclosing sources and methods.

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Among the Republicans who publicly criticized the president for refusing to release the rebuttal was Justin Amash, of MI, who said the public has a right to examine both documents and draw their own conclusions. Mueller's defenders say they can set aside their political partisanship and be fair to Trump, but what's the evidence for that assertion?

Sen. Chuck Schumer of NY, the top Senate Democrat, said bluntly, "Millions of Americans are asking one simple question: What is he hiding?"

If agreement cannot be reached, the Intelligence Committee can submit the memo to the full House for approval but that would require approval by the controlling Republican majority voting to overrule a sitting Republican president. Rosenstein is now overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether there was any connection between Russians and Trump associates during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Earlier this month after he allowed the public release of the GOP memo, he wrote on Twitter that it "totally vindicates" him.

President Trump tweeted early Saturday, saying Democratic leadership on the House Intelligence Committee knew their memo would be heavily redacted, in the least.

Kelly said he had given FBI, DOJ and intelligence officials until Thursday to review the document. Rep. Adam Schiff of California said the president had to give public an opportunity to take a look at the situation from the other angle.

A letter denying the declassification request, with a classified attachment, was transmitted back to the House Intelligence Committee just before 8 p.m. EST.

Other reports by GizPress

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