Read the White House letter denying release of Democratic memo

Read the White House letter denying release of Democratic memo

The document is the Democrats' response to a 4-page memorandum written by Republican legislator Devin Nunes, which Trump agreed to declassify and release on February 2 - against the advice of his own Federal Bureau of Investigation director and the Department of Justice.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the committee, had said earlier in the week that he feared Trump would play politics with the dueling memos.

That led the Democrats to write a memo of their own in an attempt to refute the allegations in the Republican memo. McGahn referred the committee to a separate document - not released publicly - in which Wray and Rosenstein were said to provide details to the committee about those concerns. Under the obscure rule the panel is using to release both memos, known as Rule X, they could also call for a vote on releasing it over the objections of the president.

The memo by committee Republicans claimed bias against Trump by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department in the federal investigation of Russian Federation and the 2016 USA election.

In this case, by contrast, the White House wasn't almost so eager to commit to a memo's release and is now suggesting it is bowing to concerns from the very same federal law enforcement entities whose objections it disregarded last time.

Steele told a DOJ official that he was "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected president".

The president's rejection of the Democratic memo is in contrast to his enthusiastic embrace of releasing the Republican document, which he pledged before reading to make public. "Millions of Americans are asking one simple question: what is he hiding?" he said. In a Quinnipiac University poll released this week, 56 percent of Americans said they saw Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into Russian involvement in the 2016 election as fair - down just 3 points from the previous month.

Trump explained why he chose to block the memo on Twitter Saturday, calling for Democrats on the panel to "re-do" it.

Trump Friday blocked the release of the memo which responds to a Republican memo alleging Justice Department surveillance abuses concerning Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. "And any legitimate concerns over sources and methods, we will redact".

The letter notes that due to the "public interest in transparency in these unprecedented circumstances", justice department officials would be made available to offer "technical assistance" to edit the memo for potential release.

In a story worthy of a John le Carre novel that included secret handovers of USB drives in a small West Berlin bar and coded messages delivered over the National Security Agency's Twitter account, CIA agents reportedly spent much of previous year trying to buy the hacking programs, which had been stolen from the NSA, back from the Russian.

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