Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Trump blocks release of memo rebutting Republican claims

President Trump is expected to declassify the Democratic rebuttal memo on Friday an official said President Trump is expected to declassify the Democratic rebuttal memo on Friday an official said
Patty Aguilar | 14 February, 2018, 13:06

The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Monday to release the 10-page Democratic Party memo.

Rep. Adam Schiff, R-Calif., the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said, "After promising to treat the Democratic response in precisely the same way (as the GOP memo), the White House now seeks to have the Democratic memo sent back to committee and revised by the same majority that produced the flawed Nunes document to begin with".

Schiff, who has traded bitter Twitter messages with the president after Trump called him one of "the biggest liars and leakers" in Washington, warned this week that Trump might call for "political edits" meant to erase embarrassing parts of the memo, not information related to 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". But congressional Democrats and Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Trey Gowdy, who helped draft the GOP memo, have said it shouldn't be used to undermine the special counsel. The FBI expressed "grave concerns about material omissions of fact" in the Republic memo.

"The reality is that I want that Democrat memo released, we all do", he said. Trump told a Republican lawmaker after his State of the Union address January 30 that he would "100 percent" release the memo.

Schiff said the Grassley memo was "part of the same effort" to thwart claims of Russian collusion against Trump by putting the government "on trial".

"I think the Democrats are politically smart enough to put things in the memo that require either the bureau or the Department of Justice to say it needs to be redacted".

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"The President's double standard when it comes to transparency is appalling".

A classified memo by congressional Democrats related to investigations of Russian influence in the 2016 United States presidential election is "very political and long" and must be "heavily redacted" before it could be released, President Donald Trump said on Twitter yesterday.

The Democrats' memo aimed to counter a Republican-drafted one the president declassified and released.

Biggs also suggested on Fox News that Democrats could have relied heavily on information from classified documents when creating the memo to force Trump to not be able to release it in full.

The president has said the GOP memo "vindicates" him in the Russian Federation investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. "We will redact it to make sure that we're very protective of sources and methods", Schiff said. They argued that the Democratic document first had to be shared with all members of the House and evaluated to ensure that it did not compromise national security.

Late on Friday, Senator Dianne Feinstein, a senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, accused Trump of "hypocrisy at its worst" in blocking, at least for now, release of the House Democrats' memo.

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