Trump declines to release Democratic memo

By Danielle Haynes  |  Updated Feb. 10, 2018 at 10:39 AM
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Feb. 9 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump won't release a memorandum written by Democrats on the investigation into Russia's alleged election meddling, a letter from White House counsel said Friday.

The letter, written by Donald McGahn and sent to House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., cites national security concerns.

"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.

The House intelligence committee voted unanimously Monday to release the memo, which answers a Republican document released last week. It was up to Trump to then approve the release.

The Republican memo, written by intelligence committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., details alleged Justice Department surveillance abuses concerning Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Trump authorized the release of the Republican memo without redactions Feb. 2, saying it "totally vindicates 'Trump' in probe."

Committee Democrats have said their 10-page rebuttal corrects errors in the Republican memo and adds context to actions of the FBI and the Justice Department. The GOP memo notes how the department obtained a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order to wiretap Page.

The Democratic memo says the FBI offered more information than the GOP version suggests.

McGahn's letter said Trump has directed the Justice Department to be available to House intelligence committee members should they wish to edit the memo to eliminate classified information.

"The President encourages the Committee to undertake these efforts," the letter says. "The Executive Branch stands ready to review any subsequent draft of the February 5th Memorandum for declassification at the earliest opportunity."

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