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Trump explains refusal to declassify Dems' memo

12 February 2018

Her sharp rhetoric raised the stakes in the Russia investigation - and November's midterm elections, which could possibly hand Democrats control of the House and Senate, increasing the chances for impeachment proceedings against Trump over possible collusion with Russians during the 2016 election and possibly obstruction of justice charges based on actions since he took office.

In a tweet posted just minutes after the White House announced its decision to block the Democratic memo from public view, Lieu slammed the move as "outrageous" and said he's now "convinced [Trump] is intentionally hiding relevant information from the American people in order to mislead the public".

Democrats expressed outrage at the president's decision.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee had initially opposed the release of the Democratic memo, even as they voted to release the Republican-crafted memo.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, has said he will be scrutinizing the process closely.

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Trump would consider releasing the document if changes were made "to mitigate the risks" determined by the Department of National Intelligence and Justice Department of releasing those sensitive parts, McGahn wrote.

But Democrats on the committee then produced a memo they said would refute some of the claims made in the Nunes document, which they argue was misleading and sought to undermine the Mueller investigation.

"Intelligence Committee Republicans encourage the minority to accept the DOJ'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", he said.

Among the Republicans who publicly criticized the president for refusing to release the rebuttal was Justin Amash, of MI, who said the public has a right to examine both documents and draw their own conclusions.

"Clearly, the president has something to hide". Nothing. We've been expecting to hear what the president would do about this Democratic memo by the Democrats on the House intel committee. But without the president's support, that seems less likely.

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Democrats said the Republican memo mischaracterised highly sensitive classified information and was meant to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of potential collusion between Mr Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian Federation. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, put out his own memo that is reportedly more detailed as to how the FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page was obtained. Asked if Democrats drafted a memo they knew would be blocked, Schiff said "of course not". Fusion GPS had been hired by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to produce the dossier.

Nunes has since conceded that the political nature of the material was included in a footnote - a fact confirmed in a letter released this week by two senior Republican senators. Short said on NBC's "Meet the Press".

They noted that federal law enforcement officials had informed the court about the political origins of Steele's work and that some of the former spy's information was corroborated by the FBI.

Trump tweeted in an apparent response to reactions to his comments Friday about the resignation of a top White House aide, Rob Porter, after his two ex-wives said he abused them. Much of the underlying evidence, including the warrant application, remain classified.

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Trump explains refusal to declassify Dems' memo