Under pressure from President Donald Trump, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee plan to redact a memo defending the FBI’s surveillance of a former Trump campaign aide to resolve Trump’s complaint.
But the Democrat, Jim Himes of Connecticut, accused Trump of hypocrisy in demanding changes to the document, echoing a grievance leveled by other Democrats on the committee.
Himes noted that the president had declassified the contents of a rival Republican memo, based on the same underlying documents, that criticized the FBI’s behavior despite vigorous objections from both the bureau and the Justice Department.
“There is just no way that man will allow the release of information that shows that the Nunes memo is just plain wrong,” Himes said in an interview, referring to the Republican memo drafted by aides to Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the committee’s chairman.
Both memos address the FBI’s justification for seeking a secret court warrant in October 2016 to eavesdrop on the former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page, who was suspected of being an agent of Russia.
Republicans claim that FBI and Justice Department officials seriously misled the court by failing to disclose that they were partly relying on research that had been financed by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Democrats are seeking to rebut those charges by declassifying other information in the application for the 90-day warrant.
In a letter to the White House on Friday, top Justice Department and FBI officials said they had law enforcement or national security concerns about declassifying parts of the Democratic memo.
While Trump “is inclined to declassify” the document, the White House counsel said in a letter to the House committee, “he is unable to do so” until those passages are redacted.
Although the committee had voted to release the memo, Democrats now have little choice but to revise it to overcome the president’s objections, Himes said.
In a Saturday morning tweet, Trump accused the Democrats of deliberately drafting a “very political and long” document so that he would be forced to block its release. He said that it would “have to be heavily redacted” to protect “sources and methods (and more)” and that he had instructed the Democrats to “re-do and send back in proper form!”
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
Source: Pulse. Ng