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Citing national security concerns, Pres. Trump says he won’t declassify Democratic memo on Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP)– Mentioning national security issues, the White House on Friday formally alerted your home intelligence committee that President Donald Trump is “not able” to declassify a memo drafted by Democrats that counters GOP claims about abuse of federal government surveillance powers in the FBI’s Russia probe.White House counsel Don McGahn stated in a letter to the committee that the memo includes” numerous correctly categorized and especially sensitive passages “and asked the Democrats to modify the memo with the help of the Justice Department. He said Trump is still “likely” to launch the memo in the interest of openness if modifications are made.The president

‘s rejection of the Democratic memo is in contrast to his enthusiastic embrace of launching the Republican file, which he pledged prior to reading to make public. The president declassified the document last week, enabling its publication in full.The president

has said the GOP memo “vindicates” him in the continuous Russia investigation led by unique counsel Robert Mueller. Congressional Democrats and Republicans, consisting of Home Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, who assisted prepare the GOP memo, have said it should not be utilized to weaken the special counsel.On Friday, White

Home representative Raj Shah stated Trump discussed the Democratic file with the White House counsel’s office, FBI Director Christopher Wray and another top Justice Department official.The president had until Saturday to decide whether

to permit the classified product to end up being public after the House intelligence committee voted Monday to launch it.In declining to declassify the file, the White Home also sent lawmakers a letter signed by Deputy Lawyer General Rod Rosenstein and Wray, as well as a marked-up copy of the memo, laying out parts it thinks about too sensitive to make public. Among those passages are some that the Justice Departments states could compromise intelligence sources and methods, continuous examinations and nationwide security if disclosed.The file in question was authored by Democrats on the intelligence panel. They say it disputes numerous claims in the GOP memo, which accused the FBI and

Justice Department of abusing their surveillance powers in acquiring a secret warrant to monitor former Trump project diplomacy adviser Carter Page.The memo’s release would have topped off a week where Republicans and Democrats on the committee have actually publicly fought, with the panel now erecting a wall to separate feuding Republican and Democratic staffers who had long sat side by side.The arguments have actually escalated over the in 2015 as Democrats have charged that Republicans aren’t taking the panel’s investigation into Russian election meddling seriously enough. They state the GOP memo, led by chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is designed as a distraction from the probe, which is checking out whether Trump’s campaign remained in any method connected to the Russian interference.Trump declassified the GOP-authored memo over the objections of the FBI, which said it had”serious issues” about the file’s accuracy.In the so-called Nunes memo, Republicans took goal at the FBI and the Justice Department over making use of details from former British spy Christopher Steele in getting a warrant to keep an eye on Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. The primary claims was that the FBI and Justice Department didn’t tell the court enough about Steele’s anti-Trump predisposition or that his work was moneyed in part by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.They argued that the dependence on Steele’s material totaled up to an inappropriate politicization of the government’s monitoring powers.Democrats have countered that the GOP memo was unreliable and a misleading collection of “cherry-picked”details.They noted that federal police authorities had actually notified the court about the political origins of

Steele’s work and that a few of the former spy’s details was corroborated by the FBI. They also kept in mind that there was other evidence presented to the court

besides Steele’s info, though they have not supplied details.The Democratic memo is expected to elaborate on these points.House Republicans who have seen the file had stated portions will practically certainly need to be redacted to safeguard intelligence sources and techniques. Previously this week, White House officials stated the Democratic memo would go through the exact same national security and legal review as the Republican document. White Home chief of personnel John Kelly hinted at possible redactions, saying the Democratic

version is “not as tidy “as the GOP’s.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the Home intelligence committee, has stated he will be inspecting the procedure closely.Schiff desires the FBI and Justice Department to offer their redactions to him directly so he can compare them to any information withheld by the White House. Schiff said the contrast will help to expose any product blacked out for political functions or to hide embarrassing or destructive information about the president and his partners.

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