March 22, 2018

Trump Refuses the Release of Democratic Memo

11 February 2018, 04:28 | Taylor George

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USA president Donald Trump has blocked, for "this time", the declassification of a memo prepared by Democrats of a congressional committee probing Russian meddling that sought to rebut a Republican version he had allowed to be released and whose findings he had embraced.

Even before reading the GOP document, Trump pledged to make it public. Moreover, critics say, he has repeatedly abused his powers to try to kill the probe, including by firing FBI Director James Comey and by heaping pressure on the FBI and Justice Department.

Trump released a tweet Saturday saying Democrats "knew, because of sources and methods (and more)" that it could not be declassified and released in full. Still, Schiff said, Democrats "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". The President's decision to block the Democratic memo from release is part of a risky and desperate pattern of cover-up on the part of the President.

Despite the GOP memo being discredited by almost every lawyer and expert who read through it as a blatant, politically-motivated attempt to misrepresent the Russian Federation probe as a witch hunt, Trump tried to defend his decision to not release the Democratic rebuttal on grounds of it being too political. She tweeted that Trump's blocking the memo is 'hypocrisy at its worst'.

White House Counsel Don McGahn invited the committee to "revise" the memo to address national security concerns, and wrote in a a letter to committee Chairman Devin Nunes that the "Executive Branch stands ready to review any subsequent draft" for release.

The letter says they enclosed a version of the memo, which was not released, marked to highlight information they thought could endanger "protection of intelligence sources and methods, ongoing investigations and other similarly sensitive information". It is said to indicate that the court was made aware of the political motivations behind the information provided by Steele, but that specific Democratic organizations were not identified.

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Trump contended it was a ploy to allow Democrats to "blame the White House for lack of transparency".

The President's gambit is possible because the public has yet to see the details in the Democratic memo and so can not judge his motives.

The 10-page document was written in response to a four-page Republican memo, which took a critical view of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department.

On Friday, Trump refused to declassify the Democratic document.

President Trump will not release a Democratic memo rebutting Republican claims that federal law enforcement officials abused their power at the beginning of the Russian Federation investigation.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., tweeted Friday that he had seen both the Democratic and Republican memos, that neither is damaging to national security and that the Democratic response should be released.

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