Trump tells Democrats to refile Russia probe memo

Adam Schiff says Republican attacks on the Justice Department and the FBI show desperation

BILL O'LEARY Adam Schiff says Republican attacks on the Justice Department and the FBI show desperation

But Trump ignored those concerns when he chose to release the Republican memo last week - despite the Federal Bureau of Investigation releasing a rare statement to say the Nunes memo omitted key information and the Justice Department raising "grave concerns" about its release without proper review. "The American people deserve the opportunity to read both memos".

Because the memos contain classified information, the president must approve their release.

That would allow them, he said, to "blame the White House for lack of transparency".

After the decision to block the Democratic memo was announced, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) expressed his intention to revise and release the document.

White House counsel Don McGahn said in a letter to the House Intelligence Committee on February 9 that the president was "unable" to declassify the memo, which he said contained "numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages".

A classified memo by congressional Democrats related to investigations of Russian influence in the 2016 U.S. presidential election is "very political and long" and must be "heavily redacted" before it could be released, President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Saturday (Feb 10).

Trump on Friday declined to release the Democratic rebuttal of a Republican memo he inaccurately claimed "totally vindicates" him in the Russian Federation probe, warning that the new document compromised intelligence sources and methods.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., accused Trump of obstructing justice by releasing one document and refusing to disclose another.

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He says Trump is still "inclined" to release the memo if revisions are made. Rosenstein is now overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether there was any connection between Russians and Trump associates during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The release of the memo was blocked by Trump on Friday, kicking off a new skirmish between Democrats and the White House.

They joined other Trump administration critics in calling the release of the Republican document an effort to undermine the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

President Donald Trump is refusing to declassify a high-profile memo written by Democratic lawmakers about the Russian Federation probe. Written by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, is was meant to rebut a Republican document made public last week with Trump's consent.

Mr Trump also claimed Democrats knew their memo could not be released in its current form because it would reveal "sources and methods", forcing the White House not to support its release.

Instead, it was Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and meetings he had with agents of the Kremlin at which he was offered dirt on Hillary Clinton that triggered the investigation, the Nunes memo says.

The controversy also illustrates the relative impotence of Democrats trying to hold Trump's feet to the fire.

By then, the whirlwind news cycle will have rolled on and the Republican version of the Page episode will have been touted by pro-Trump media for days, solidifying conservative opinion.

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