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Trump won't release Democratic memo, sends back to committee

President Donald Trump won't release the Democratic rebuttal to the Republican intelligence memo alleging FBI abuses ...

Posted: Feb 10, 2018 5:01 PM
Updated: Feb 10, 2018 5:01 PM

President Donald Trump won't release the Democratic rebuttal to the Republican intelligence memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority at this time, and has sent it back to the House Intelligence Committee for changes.

In a letter to the committee, White House counsel Donald McGahn said, "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."

Trump had said earlier Friday he planned to release the memo.

"It's gonna be released soon," Trump told reporters at the White House, adding, "We're going to release a letter."

The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Monday to release the 10-page Democratic memo, and the committee rules gave Trump five days to decide whether to block or allow its release.

The memo from Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the committee, was written to rebut the Republican memo released one week prior, which accuses the FBI of suppressing Democratic ties to an opposition research dossier on Trump and Russia used in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant for former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

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.

"The Democratic response sets out the material facts that were necessary for the public to see that the FBI acted properly in seeking a FISA warrant on Carter Page," Schiff said in a statement. "After promising to treat the Democratic response in precisely the same way, 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."

The White House included a letter signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray that says they have identified portions of the Democratic memo that would raise national security or law enforcement concerns if released publicly.

Trump cited concerns from the Justice Department and FBI in his objection to releasing the Democratic memo. But Trump ignored those concerns when he decided to release the Republican memo last week -- despite the FBI releasing a rare statement to say the Nunes memo omitted key information and the Justice Department raising "grave concerns" about its release without proper review.

Trump's objection puts the committee in uncharted waters, as the committee used an obscure rule that had never been invoked before to vote to release both memos.

The White House allowed the Nunes memo to be made public. But with the objection to the Democratic memo, there is a procedure available to the House to override the objection and make it public anyway.

That would require a vote of the full House after a rare debate in closed session for the full chamber.

But it's not clear whether Republicans will be willing to take that step, and the GOP committee members were hesitant about defying Trump on the memo earlier this week.

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.

"This memo contains a large volume of classified information, including some touching on sources and methods heightening the potential damage to national security," Nunes said.

Schiff said he gave his memo to the Justice Department and FBI so they could review for national security concerns in addition to just a White House review, as he expressed concerns there would be "political redactions" to the memo.

"In order to rebut the errors, omissions and distortions in the Republican-drafted memo, we have included certain details beyond the revelations made public by the release of the majority's document," Schiff said.

Democrats immediately cried foul at the decision to send the Democratic memo back to the committee.

"The President's double standard when it comes to transparency is appalling," Sen. Chuck Schumer said in a statement. "The rationale for releasing the Nunes memo, transparency, vanishes when it could show information that's harmful to him. Millions of Americans are asking one simple question: what is he hiding?"

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 255125

Reported Deaths: 5574
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17197175
Hinds16280322
Harrison13502193
Rankin10749211
Jackson10407183
Lee8819141
Madison8262162
Jones6375110
Forrest5992119
Lauderdale5873180
Lowndes5381116
Lafayette496692
Lamar487565
Washington4800123
Bolivar3978108
Oktibbeha393880
Panola370779
Pontotoc365353
Monroe3543105
Warren353498
Union344760
Marshall342665
Neshoba3383152
Pearl River329799
Leflore3004105
Lincoln297685
Sunflower284969
Hancock273459
Tate272462
Alcorn264053
Pike263577
Itawamba262959
Scott246645
Yazoo245955
Prentiss245652
Copiah241949
Tippah241750
Simpson235767
Coahoma233754
Leake231164
Grenada218470
Covington213071
Marion212072
Adams205870
Wayne201331
Winston200564
George199338
Attala193759
Newton192842
Tishomingo186359
Chickasaw183944
Jasper170835
Holmes168767
Clay159433
Stone143621
Tallahatchie141034
Clarke138960
Calhoun136121
Smith120823
Yalobusha117034
Walthall112336
Noxubee110522
Greene110229
Montgomery109634
Carroll104521
Lawrence102617
Perry102231
Amite98025
Webster92424
Tunica86721
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis84825
Humphreys83024
Benton81823
Kemper77220
Quitman6918
Franklin66615
Choctaw60513
Wilkinson58425
Jefferson54319
Sharkey43017
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 424028

Reported Deaths: 6121
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62258921
Mobile30381549
Madison27160186
Tuscaloosa20779267
Montgomery19049305
Shelby18572114
Baldwin16346182
Lee12515101
Morgan12260113
Etowah11757168
Calhoun11161200
Marshall10199107
Houston8630148
Cullman8036105
Limestone802874
Elmore7849101
DeKalb768897
Lauderdale760083
St. Clair7555120
Talladega6180108
Walker5903174
Jackson581341
Colbert533573
Blount530883
Autauga519855
Coffee443956
Dale398581
Franklin367548
Chilton337665
Russell331710
Covington327768
Escambia319342
Dallas303396
Chambers284269
Clarke282133
Tallapoosa2617107
Pike249429
Marion246250
Lawrence244247
Winston227335
Bibb216247
Geneva202535
Marengo199729
Pickens197031
Hale176442
Barbour173036
Butler170258
Fayette169026
Cherokee160530
Henry154421
Monroe145617
Randolph140735
Washington137726
Clay126745
Crenshaw119544
Lamar118219
Cleburne117723
Macon115035
Lowndes110735
Wilcox103121
Bullock99128
Perry97719
Conecuh94420
Sumter89126
Greene76123
Coosa60515
Choctaw51524
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