Trump Will Not Immediately Release Democratic Memo, Suggests Revisions

11 February, 2018, 08:15 | Author: Wade Massey
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"The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency", the president wrote Saturday morning. In a letter to Nunes, White House Counsel Donald McGahn said that, although Trump was "inclined to declassify" the Democratic memo, he couldn't because it contained "numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages".

The White House letter said Justice Department officials will be available to help "should the committee wish to revise the February 5th memorandum to mitigate the risks identified by the department".

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who compiled the Democratic memo said that he wants the FBI, US intelligence community and the White House to vet its contents.

Schiff said that Democrats on the committee "will be reviewing the recommended redactions from DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigation, which these agencies shared with the White House, and look forward to conferring with the agencies to determine how we can properly inform the American people about the misleading attack on law enforcement by the GOP and address any concerns over [intelligence] sources and methods", and that they hope the matter can be resolved "quickly". He claimed, incorrectly, that the Republican memo had vindicated him in the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference.

The president has said the GOP memo "vindicates" him in the Russian Federation investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

House Republicans who have seen the document had said portions will nearly certainly have to be redacted to protect intelligence sources and methods.

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What the Nunes memo and the Democratic memo are all about
Neither the Nunes memo or the Dem memo should have been authored by the House Committee or released by the White House. Redacting parts of the Democratic rebuttal , of course, would play right into Schiff's hands-an outcome Rep.

Schiff and other Democrats charge that the Republican memo led by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes of California is misleading and omits key facts, including that the FISA application did state that ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, was paid by a political entity.

"Intelligence Committee Republicans encourage the minority to accept the DOJ's recommendations and make the appropriate technical changes and redactions so that no sources and methods are disclosed and their memo can be declassified as soon as possible".

Trump's delaying move could have the effect of devaluing the impact of the Democratic memo, even if a redacted version is eventually released. Republicans have seized on the Steele dossier because he was commissioned by the political research firm Fusion GPS, which was hired by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Democrats warn this does not just amount to a double standard, but also reflects a pattern of attempts by the President to frustrate the investigation because he has something to hide. But it's not because of something President Trump did.

He described the Democratic memo as "not as clean as the first one", suggesting that the White House could release it with redactions.

The surveillance warrant application itself remains under tight seal. Ryan also said he thought the Democratic document should be released. "Therefore, it creates this belief that there's something being hidden from the American people", Gowdy said. He said of his memo, "It sets the context".


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