Trump Says No To Declassifying Democrat Memo On Russia Probe

| February 10 , 2018 , 14:48 IST

The White House on Friday formally notified the House Intelligence committee that President Donald Trump is "unable" to declassify a high-profile memo written by Democrat lawmakers on the Russia Probe. The White House cited National Security concerns for not doing so.

This comes less than a week after Trump making the Republic memo public. The GOP memo had attempted to highlight the FBI and Justice Department bias against Trump in the FISA probe on Russian intervention in the US Presidential elections.

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The White House stated that the Justice Department had identified portions of the Democratic memo that "would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests" of the country.

In a letter to the House Intelligence Committee, White House counsel Don McGahn said the memo "contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages."

FBI Chief Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in other letter indicated that releasing this memo would present concerns for the "protection of intelligence sources and methods, ongoing investigations and other similarly sensitive information."

Meanwhile, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, 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. "Clearly the president has something to hide," she said.

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However, Republican lawmaker Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and author of the previously released Republican memo, said it was "no surprise" the Department of Justice and FBI advised against publishing the Democratic memo.

Democrats on the intelligence committee complained theat the Republicans' four-page memo cherry-picked facts and explained events out of context and was thus not accurate.

On Friday, Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, accused the President of holding double standards in approving the release of the Republican memo but blocking the Democratic one.

Previously, US intelligence agencies have hinted that Russia interfered in the 2016 Presidential campaign using hacking and propaganda, an effort that eventually included attempting to tilt the race in Trump's favour. Russia denies interfering in the election. Trump denies collusion with Moscow.