This was a setup by the Dems from the beginning and everyone knows it. Trump would have been damned on the memo any way he went on it. Ever since the FISA memo came out, the Dems have been screaming for their rebuttal memo to be released. It’s more than twice as long as the FISA memo from the Republicans and of course, it will have to be heavily redacted or rewritten. Why? Because they included classified information that would harm national security and police interests. They knew it when they wrote it. It was a trap for Trump. If he had released it, he would have been nailed for exposing national security. If he didn’t and referred it back to the DOJ and the Democratic committee, he would appear unfair and obstructionist. Snakes.
The Trump administration said Friday that they would not be declassifying the Democrat memo rebuttal to the FISA memo for release to the public. White House Counsel to the President, Don McGahn, sent a letter to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) explaining the reasons why the President chose to keep the memo classified.
“Consistent with the review of the previous memorandum,” the statement read, “the President asked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice to assess the declassification request and provide him recommendations. The Department has identified portions of the February 5th Memorandum the disclosure of which it believes would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests.”
“Although the President is inclined to declassify the February 5th Memorandum,” the statement continued, “because the Memorandum contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages, he is unable to do so at this time.”
“However, given the public interest in transparency in these unprecedented circumstances,” he added, “the President has directed that Justice Department personnel be available to give technical assistance to the Committee, should the Committee wish to revise the February 5th Memorandum to mitigate the risks identified by the Department.”
“The President encourages the Committee to undertake these efforts,” the statement concluded.
Sources tell @foxnews that the @AdamSchiffCA memo contains information pertaining to "sources and methods" that will likely require redaction. One source says this was done tactically to force the @realDonaldTrump into making changes – setting up a contrast with GOP memo
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) February 6, 2018
The letter was released by the White House, along with another letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray. Their letter said they had identified information that “would present concerns in light of longstanding principles regarding the protection of intelligence sources and methods, ongoing investigations, and other similarly sensitive information” if released. It was also pointed out that there was information for which “national security or law enforcement concerns are especially significant.”
The Democratic memo is ten pages long versus the four pages of the FISA memo. It was written by the Democrats in the minority of the House Intelligence Committee as a rebuttal to the FISA memo authored by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) that was earlier declassified. The committee voted unanimously Monday of this week to release the memo upon approval by the President. The rebuttal was written because the Dems whined that the FISA memo was misleading and incomplete. According to them, their memo would offer context and additional information on the issue of FBI and Department of Justice bias towards President Trump.
I don’t think anyone is surprised by this move. The debacle was planned by the left from the beginning and President Trump is fully aware of that. Let the media whine and lie, President Trump is doing the right thing here. The furious Democratic charges of hypocrisy and political exploitation of intelligence secrets began last night and the media will be all over it. It’s bull crap and they know it.
WH letter to Nunes on POTUS decision not to declassify the Dem memo: pic.twitter.com/1ejQtzCgK3
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) February 10, 2018
The House of Representatives can still vote to release the memo despite Trump’s blocking it. That could very well set the stage for a partisan brawl in the House next week over the document’s fate. “The hypocrisy is on full display,” tweeted House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “What does the President have to hide?” The only hypocrites I see here are on the left, Nancy… and you’re one of them. “Refusal to release Democratic response to [the GOP memo] — evidence of obstruction of justice by Donald Trump happening in real time,” tweeted Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). Right on cue, I might add.
Hours after the White House’s announcement, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), said in a statement that the Democratic memo could still be released after the redaction of sensitive passages flagged by Wray and Rosenstein. “Intelligence Committee Republicans encourage the minority to accept the [Justice Department’s] recommendations and make the appropriate technical changes and redactions so that no sources and methods are disclosed and their memo can be declassified as soon as possible,” said Nunes. As I see it, honor the rules or get stuffed. I guess we’ll see how this plays out next week.
WH tells DOJ, FBI to assist @HouseIntelComm in redacting classified info from Dem memo. McGahn letter says President “inclined” to release memo, but is “unable to do so at this time.”
— Kayla Tausche (@kaylatausche) February 10, 2018
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