Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump won't declassify Democratic memo on Russia

Trump won't declassify Democratic memo on Russia

The transcript from the Monday meeting appears to corroborate claims that the Democrats' memo contains far more classified information than the Republicans' memo did, including references to the locations of meetings outside the United States; the FBI's ability to sweep up the communications of targets; and other sources and methods lawmakers expect will be redacted before the memo is approved for public release.

Trump authorized the release of the Republican memo without redactions February 2, saying it "totally vindicates "Trump" in probe".

The same committee last week voted unanimously to release the Democratic memo, produced by Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, but Trump cited concerns about classified information contained in the 10-page document.

The White House legislative director, Marc Short, countered that Democrats padded their memo with sensitive information, knowing Trump would stop its release, in an effort to make him look obstructionist.

The White House announced Friday night (translation: news-dump o'clock) it would not immediately approve the release of the Democratic memo.

"Clearly, the President has something to hide", she added.

Adam Schiff, who wrote the second memo, said at the time that Republicans had "found themselves in an insupportable position when they released a misleading memo and refused to release the Democratic response". He said Trump is "inclined" to release the memo in the interest of transparency if revisions are made. The document is believed to independently lay out similar allegations of collusion between Trump and Russian Federation as those contained in the infamous Steele dossier, written by the former British spy Christopher Steele.

Democrats last week warned Mr Trump against using the Republican memo as a pretext to fire Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein, who hired Mr Mueller and oversees the investigation, or to remove Mr Mueller himself.

"As we already know, the memo is said to be the product of a cherry-picked intelligence drafted by staffers to Congressman Devin Nunes of the House Intelligence Committee", MSNBC's Chris Matthews said during the same program.

"If the president really believes the Nunes memo vindicates him, as he has said, what is he hiding by blocking the Schiff memo?" "Their memo is sitting at the House Intelligence Committee down at the bottom of the Capitol waiting to be redacted". It gets released even though the Department of Justice objected strenuously, in public and in private, calling the memo "extraordinarily reckless".

It's not yet clear whether enough Republicans would vote in favor of the memo's release.

Democrats had concerns with the GOP memo over sensitive information as well, but the president declassified that. They can make all kinds of outlandish claims about what the memo means, including claims that the wrongdoing is so severe that the entire investigation must be abandoned. It claims that without the Steele dossier, no surveillance warrants would have been sought.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway implored Democrats to be patient with the process. By the rules of Trump-era Washington. well, there aren't any rules in Trump-era Washington, so one memo is released for partisan advantage, and one is kept secret for partisan advantage.

"The problem is, that everybody has said, that the underlying documentation is critically important and when you put together a very short memo that very selectively cherry-picks information to make one's case, it's hard for the American people to understand what the Federal Bureau of Investigation presented", cohost Joe Scarborough said.

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