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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.

Confirmed Cases: 110592

Reported Deaths: 3171
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7731171
DeSoto655177
Harrison478481
Jackson429178
Rankin380086
Madison371092
Lee339279
Forrest292777
Jones281682
Washington250697
Lafayette241342
Lauderdale2329130
Lamar212038
Bolivar197775
Oktibbeha194154
Neshoba1795111
Lowndes173662
Panola164736
Leflore158786
Sunflower156749
Warren151854
Monroe143672
Pontotoc143019
Pike135555
Lincoln133954
Copiah133336
Marshall130026
Coahoma122836
Scott122729
Grenada119637
Simpson117648
Yazoo116933
Union113825
Holmes113060
Tate112339
Leake111839
Itawamba108724
Pearl River107456
Adams104042
Prentiss100919
Wayne97921
Alcorn94412
George93217
Marion92642
Covington90825
Tippah84820
Newton84227
Chickasaw81724
Tallahatchie81725
Winston81421
Tishomingo78640
Hancock76527
Attala76325
Clarke70948
Clay66621
Jasper66016
Walthall63427
Calhoun60912
Noxubee59516
Smith57716
Claiborne53016
Montgomery52723
Tunica51817
Lawrence48914
Yalobusha47914
Perry47522
Carroll45812
Greene44717
Stone44614
Amite41513
Quitman4096
Humphreys39916
Jefferson Davis39311
Webster36313
Wilkinson32920
Kemper31615
Benton3004
Sharkey27714
Jefferson26210
Franklin2283
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 152272

Reported Deaths: 2621
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22300372
Mobile14273314
Tuscaloosa9886132
Montgomery9615196
Madison895192
Shelby700260
Lee643066
Baldwin636967
Marshall425348
Calhoun408459
Etowah399149
Morgan393232
Houston362332
DeKalb313326
Elmore308152
St. Clair276742
Limestone268327
Walker264192
Talladega253634
Cullman223923
Lauderdale204340
Autauga198928
Franklin198131
Jackson197914
Russell18993
Colbert188927
Dallas184527
Blount182723
Chilton178731
Escambia170328
Covington164429
Coffee16299
Dale161551
Pike130112
Tallapoosa126986
Chambers126643
Clarke126116
Marion103929
Butler99640
Barbour9819
Marengo96421
Winston88613
Geneva8297
Pickens79317
Randolph79314
Lawrence78830
Bibb78513
Hale73729
Cherokee71414
Clay70312
Lowndes69827
Bullock63417
Henry6286
Monroe6259
Washington62012
Crenshaw58830
Perry5796
Conecuh55413
Wilcox55412
Fayette54012
Macon52819
Cleburne5207
Sumter46421
Lamar4555
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
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