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Read the White House letter denying release of Democratic memo

14 February 2018

The story emerged the same day that the White House, citing national security concerns, formally notified the House intelligence committee that Trump is "unable" to declassify a memo drafted by Democrats that counters GOP allegations about abuse of government surveillance powers in the FBI's Russian Federation probe.

"If they really wanted to get it out they'd be down there all day yesterday redacting it and getting it back over to the White House so the public can know what's in it", Nunes said.

The Democratic memo is believed to elaborate on these points. Asked if Democrats drafted a memo they knew would be blocked, Schiff said "of course not". "The rationale for releasing the Nunes memo, transparency, vanishes when it could show information that's harmful to him".

House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Trump's move to block the memo a "stunningly brazen attempt to cover up the truth about the Trump-Russia scandal from the American people".

"One week ago, the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation implored the White House not to release a deeply flawed and inaccurate memo prepared by Chairman Devin Nunes", Schiff said in his statement. Schiff said the comparison will help to expose any material blacked out for political purposes or to hide embarrassing or damaging information about the president and his associates.

The committee can either make those changes or seek a vote from the House to override the president's decision.

Congressman Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and author of the memo, also slammed Trump's "double standard".

Spokesmen for the Justice Department did not respond Friday night to questions about the concerns that Rosenstein and Wray had reportedly expressed.

The FBI had previously issued a highly unusual warning against releasing the memo from Republican Nunes, saying it could jeopardize U.S. intelligence collection methods.

Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russian Federation. That led to the Democratic push to publish their own 10-page counter-memo, accusing the Republicans of misleading and omitting key facts. They could accept Trump's offer for help from the Justice Department to scrub the memo of sensitive information. "The White House ignored their concerns and approved the publication of the Republican memo with no redactions even though the action was described by the agencies as extraordinarily reckless and omitting material facts".

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., also tweeted 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. Democrats say the court was informed that a former British spy, Christopher Steele, who assembled the dossier, was politically motivated.

President Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday that he wants Democratic lawmakers to "re-do" a classified memo about government surveillance of a former Trump campaign advisor before it is released.

After the Nunes memo was released, Trump saw the document as evidence that the investigation by DOJ special counsel Robert Mueller was politically motivated. "And there's a lot we left out".

There are times when all I can say is "You just can't make it up".

Read the White House letter denying release of Democratic memo