Trump blocks release of Democratic memo that rebuts Republican claims

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The White House said in a letter to the committee that it would not publicize the contents of the Democratic memo "because the Memorandum contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages".

Trump said earlier Friday he planned to release the memo.

The House intelligence committee voted unanimously Monday to release the memo, which answers a Republican document released last week.

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".

Trump claimed the original memo "totally vindicated" him in his role in attempts to thwart the special counsel's investigation of the matter but investigators and even Republicans say it shows more illegal involvement in it.

Trump's refusal to approve the Democrats' memo conflicts with the White House's previous position on the Republican memo. Ryan also said he thought the Democratic document should be released.

"I do think it's important to release the Democrat memo", observes attorney Abe Hamilton, a former assistant district attorney who now serves as counsel at the American Family Association.

The counsel cited "significant concerns" raised by the department of justice about revelations in the memo as the reason for not allowing it to be declassified.

The Republicans' memo, authored by the Congressman Devin Nunes' staff, had alleged "serious violations of public trust" by the FBI over their conduct in the Russian Federation investigation, per a statement from Mr Nunes. Some Republicans likewise disagreed with the conclusions being drawn from that document.

Mr
Mueller took over the investigation from the FBI.

The Republican document claims that although the Federal Bureau of Investigation had "clear evidence" that the author of the dossier, former British spy Christopher Steele, was biased against then-candidate Trump, it did not convey this to the surveillance court when making its warrant applications. Some Republicans have claimed the Democratic memo involved more substantial information about law enforcement sources and methods. Republicans have seized on the Steele dossier because he was commissioned by the political research firm Fusion GPS, which was hired by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign. "Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!" The same process is being followed here, at least as far as national security is concerned.

They also noted that there was other evidence presented to the court besides Steele's information, though they have not provided details.

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short blasted Schiff's initial push to publish the Democratic memo in an interview Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press".

On Friday, Trump refused to declassify the Democratic document.

The White House is scrambling to contain the fallout from the spouse abuse allegations - especially for Chief of Staff John Kelly, who along with other senior officials had known about the accusations against Porter for months, according to some news reports.

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