White House Seeks Revisions to Dems' FISA Rebuttal Memo, Halting Release


In a tweet Saturday the President said the Democrats purposely sent a long memo with sources and methods which would have to be heavily redacted, knowing they could accuse the White House of a 'lack of transparency'.

President Donald Trump accused House Intelligence Committee Democrats Saturday with crafting their rebuttal memo about FBI and Justice Department officials' actions early in the Russian Federation election meddling investigation in a way that would back his White House into a corner.

The new document was blocked because of the "numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages", according to a letter sent by White House counsel Don McGahn to the House Intelligence Committee that leads the probe.

President Trump took to Twitter Saturday morning to defend his decision not to declassify a memo written by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee in response to a GOP memo the president declassified for release last week.

Last week, the president approved declassification of the Republican memo compiled by Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican and chairman of the intelligence committee, saying the four-page document did not present any national security concerns, despite Democrats' insistence to the contrary.

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The immediate result of President Donald Trump's decision to block the release of a Democratic memo on the Russian Federation investigation is to expose him to charges of hypocrisy.

The letter was released by the White House, along with another letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Nunes has since conceded that the political nature of the material was included in a footnote - a fact confirmed in a letter released this week by two senior Republican senators.

There was a meeting about an hour earlier in the West Wing about the fate of the Democratic memo.

"If the president really believes the Nunes memo vindicates him, as he has said, what is he hiding by blocking the (Democratic) memo?" A White House aide said he's confident it will be released once Democrats "clean it up".

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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.

Democrats had sought to release their memo at the same time the Republican one was made public, but lawmakers in the committee's majority objected. Dianne Feinstein called Trump's decision not to release the Democratic memo "hypocrisy at its worst".

"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. But the White House Friday refused, citing national security concerns.

The disagreements have escalated over the a year ago as Democrats have charged that Republicans aren't taking the panel's investigation into Russian election meddling seriously enough.

The Nunes memo claimed Democratic-funded research prompted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to spy on a former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page, which the White House said raised questions about Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice integrity.

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