President Donald Trump has predictably decided not to release the Democratic memo written by Rep. Adam Schiff (R-Calif.), citing national security concerns.
When the House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines to release the GOP memo written by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Democrats called for the release of their memo to fill in the gaps omitted by Nunes.
The GOP memo accuses the FBI and Justice Department of inappropriately obtaining a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on a member of Trump’s campaign team during the 2016 Election.
Democrats contend that their memo would demonstrate that that’s simply not the case.
The FBI and Justice Department both condemned the GOP memo for making “material omissions” and warned against releasing it because it could be harmful to national security.
Of course, Trump ignored the warnings and released the memo which he hailed as the death blow to the Russia investigation.
Not so with the Democratic memo. In a letter written by White House Counsel Don McGahn, the White House cited national security concerns as their reason to reject release of the Democratic memo despite the House Intelligence Committee voting unanimously to do so.
Trump demanded that the memo be revised and redacted, to ensure no sensitive material is released that could threaten national security.
“Although the President is inclined to declassify the February 5th Memorandum because the Memorandum contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages, he is unable to do so at this time,” the letter says.
“However, given the public interest in transparency in these unprecedented circumstances, the President has directed that Justice Department personnel be available to give technical assistance to the Committee, should the Committee wish to revise the February 5th Memorandum to mitigate the risks identifed by the Department. The President encourages the Committee to undertake these efforts; The Executive Branch stands ready to review any subsequent draft of the February 5th Memorandum for classification at the earliest convenience.”
On Twitter, Trump accused Democrats on Saturday morning of purposely including information that needs to be redacted because they want to be able to accuse him of opposing transparency.
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. Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
Again, Trump was warned that the GOP memo would make classified information public and he released it anyway because it strengthens his accusations of bias against the FBI and Justice Department in the effort to undermine the Russia investigation.
The Democratic memo written by Schiff could weaken those accusations and possibly reveal that they have no basis entirely.
While the GOP memo was released along party lines, the House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to release the Democratic memo. Still, Trump rejected it.
Now everyone is asking the question: What is he hiding? Because it’s clear that there is something in this memo that Trump desperately does not want the American people to see. The rejection also allows more time for the GOP memo to be the only side of the story available.
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