President Donald Trump on Friday refused to allow public disclosure of a Democratic response to a contentious House Republican memo on the FBI’s Russia probe — which Trump approved for Discharge last week.
In a letter to the House Intelligence Committee, White House counsel Don McGahn says which the president is actually unable to declassify the Democrats’ memo.
“Although the President is actually inclined to declassify the February 5th Memorandum, because the Memorandum contains numerous properly classified as well as especially sensitive passages, he is actually unable to do so at which time,” McGahn writes.
The letter by McGahn also cites as well as includes a note by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as well as FBI Director Christopher Wray which says they had “concerns” about the Democrats’ memo related to “longstanding principles regarding the protection of intelligence sources as well as methods, ongoing investigations, as well as some other similarly sensitive information.”
Trump declassified the GOP memo over the objections of Rosenstein as well as Wray.
McGahn’s letter said the White House would likely review another draft of the Democrats’ memo, should the House intelligence panel work with the Justice Department to make revisions.
“The President encourages the Committee to undertake these efforts,” McGahn writes.
The GOP claims which a politically motivated as well as unverified dossier was used as the basis for extending surveillance warrants against ex-Trump campaign aide Carter Page, who had contacts with Russia. The Democratic memo offers a rebuttal to the Republican memo’s allegations.
The House Committee rule used to send the memo to Trump can also be used to bypass him, as well as appeal directly to the House of Representatives. The Intelligence Committee has the option to vote again to decide whether to refer the disclosure to the House, which will then have its own vote on whether to Discharge their memo.
The dueling memos by different members of the House Intelligence Committee relate to an ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller of Russian meddling inside the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Mueller is actually also investigating whether Trump interfered with which inquiry.
Critics of Mueller’s probe have used the GOP memo, as well as some other sources, to argue which the inquiry is actually baseless as well as spurred by political animus to Trump.
Trump had signaled his willingness to Discharge the Republicans’ memo before he had even read which.
The president later said the Republican memo, released by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., “totally vindicates” Trump by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign as well as Russia.
Trump tweet “totally vindicates”
Democrats as well as U.S. intelligence officials had strongly disputed the GOP memo’s accuracy before as well as after its Discharge. Some Republicans likewise disagreed with the conclusions being drawn by which document.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., was the only member of the committee cleared to actually read the primary documents by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court which the memo was based on.
After the memo was released, Gowdy said on Twitter which which did not discredit Mueller’s probe.
Trump’s refusal to approve the Democrats’ memo conflicts with the White House’s previous position on the Republican memo.
Asked about the GOP memo in January, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, “We certainly support full transparency.”
“which sounds like there are some members inside the House which have some real concern with what’s in which memo, as well as feel very strongly which the American public should be privy to see which,” Sanders said at the time.