President Trump has declined to release a Democratic memo that was written in response to the Republican memo released last week alleging abuses by the FBI. The President has sent the memo back and allowed the House Intelligence Committee to make changes to the memo, if they so choose.
Republicans on the committee wrote a memo detailing abuses by the FBI in obtaining surveillance warrants to spy on members of the Trump campaign. The Republican memo alleges that the FBI used uncorroborated information to obtain warrants to spy on Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump during the presidential campaign.
Democrats on the committee called the Republican memo inaccurate and misleading, and wrote their own memo to “set out relevant facts.” The committee voted unanimously to release the memo and sent it to the White House for approval. Under committee rules, the President had five days to either approve the memo’s release or reject it.
The Department of Justice as well as the FBI, identified portions of the memo for which national security and law enforcement concerns were “especially significant.” As a result, the President has declined to release the memo and sent it back to the committee.
In a letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, White House Counsel Don McGahn wrote: “The Department has identified portions of the [memo] the disclosure of which it believes would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests…Although the President is inclined to release the [memo]… he is unable to do so at this time.”
McGahn also explained that the President has directed DOJ personnel to provide technical assistance to the committee should they choose to revise the memo. “The President,” McGahn wrote, “encourages the Committee to undertake these efforts.”