Hold on to your hats. Prepare for liberal implosion in 3..2..1. President Donald Trump just refused to release the House Democratic rebuttal FISA memo and sent it back to the House for changes.
From Fox News:
The White House on Friday told Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee to redraft their rebuttal to a controversial GOP memo alleging government surveillance abuse during the 2016 campaign, saying sensitive details need to be stripped before it can be made public.
The message was sent to the committee in a Friday letter from White House Counsel Don McGahn.
“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,” McGahn wrote.
“However, given the public interest in transparency in these unprecedented circumstances, the President has directed that Justice Department personnel be available to give technical assistance to the Committee, should the Committee wish to revise the February 5th Memorandum to mitigate the risks identified by the Department,” McGahn continued. “The President encourages the Committee to undertake these efforts. The Executive Branch stands ready to review any subsequent draft of the February 5th Memorandum for declassification at the earliest opportunity.”
Sources told Fox that Democrats included sensitive ‘sources and methods’ strategically, which of necessity would force Trump to have to revise it or not release it, and then they could yell that he revised it or refused to release it.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) basically confirmed this, saying that Democrats “are politically smart enough to put things in the memo” that have to be redacted.
“Therefore, it creates this belief that there’s something being hidden from the American people,” Gowdy said.
But Trump’s doing them one better and giving it back to them to change so they can’t grouse about any changes.
He included a letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray that highlighted the problematic sensitive paragraphs for them to look at and revise.
But of course, that didn’t stop them from throwing their pre-planned hissy fit
“The President’s double standard when it comes to transparency is appalling,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement following the release of McGahn’s letter. “The rationale for releasing the Nunes memo, transparency, vanishes when it could show information that’s harmful to him. Millions of Americans are asking one simple question: what is he hiding?”
The Republican House Intel memo alleged that the FBI concealed information about the unreliability of Christopher Steele and the origin of the dossier from the FISA court.
Then it was backed up by a criminal referral for Steele written by the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., which also said that the application “failed to disclose” funding from the Clinton campaign and DNC.
It also explained that while the FBI made a vague reference about ‘political origins’ of the dossier, it never said Clinton and the DNC were behind it. And it never revealed all the other issues behind Steele or the dossier.
Republicans have seized on the Nunes document to make the accusation of widespread anti-Trump bias at the top of the FBI and DOJ that sparked the investigations into Trump campaign relations with Russia during the election.
The president has repeatedly said there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Russia. The White House responded to the Republican memo last week by saying it “raises serious concerns about the integrity of decisions made at the highest levels of the Department of Justice and the FBI to use the government’s most intrusive surveillance tools against American citizens.”
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]