President Trump blocks release of Russian Federation memo drafted by Democrats

National security concerns’ Trump returns ‘sensitive’ memo to House Democrats for revision

The FBI had opposed releasing the Republican memo, saying it had "grave concerns" about its accuracy, but the White House overrode those concerns.

"We will be reviewing the recommended redactions from DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigation, which these agencies shared with the White House, and look forward to conferring with the agencies to determine how we can properly inform the American people about the misleading attack on law enforcement by the GOP and address any concerns over sources and methods", Schiff said.

After the House Intelligence Committee voted on a Monday to make that document public, Trump authorized its release swiftly on a Friday afternoon.

"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", the letter says.

"Donald Trump's double standard when it comes to transparency is appalling", said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer.

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

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, has said he will be scrutinizing the process closely. Democrats called the Nunes memo biased and misleading and said it comprised cherry-picked information from the documentation of one part of the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 USA presidential election.

President Trump has defied expectations in deciding not to release the Democratic response to the Devin Nunes memo alleging abuses of surveillance powers against Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser Carter Page. Like the GOP memo, the Democratic document draws from classified intelligence about the FBI's Russian Federation probe.

The reproduction of the story/photograph in any form will be liable for legal action.

Democrats say their memo shows that the FBI did note the dossier's political origins in October 2016 application for a warrant to monitor Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act - and that Republicans mischaracterized the extent to which the FBI relied on the dossier to obtain its warrant, which was approved by a federal judge.

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Democrats immediately cried foul at the decision to send the Democratic memo back to the committee. Let's see exactly how the applications were tied to the investigation of supposed Russian interference in the US election, and what evidence the FBI presented in support of these requests.

McGahn wrote that Trump had directed the Justice Department to provide "technical assistance" to the House intelligence panel should it wish to "revise" the document for possible release.

The proposal, which earned swift pushback from Democrats, was made during a closed-door meeting of the House Intelligence Committee held on Monday, according to a newly-released transcript of the session.

Democrats said the Republican memo mischaracterized highly sensitive classified information and was meant to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of potential collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian Federation. Democrats urged him to make the memo public, and even top Republican leaders such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., agreed it should be released just as the Nunes memo had been.

It also alleges that DOJ official did not disclose to the court that the dossier was funded in part by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and that the Page surveillance application contained information about Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, which "triggered" the opening of the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign and allegations of ties to Russian Federation.

After the Nunes memo was released, Trump saw the document as evidence that the investigation by DOJ special counsel Robert Mueller was politically motivated.

"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.

The White House message caps off a week in which Republicans and Democrats on the committee have publicly fought, with the panel now erecting a wall to separate feuding Republican and Democratic staffers who had long sat side by side.

In her rebuttal, Feinstein noted her Republican colleague's investigation request did not cite a specific instance in which Steele was asked by the FBI about his media contacts nor a time when he lied about them.


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