Trump blocks release of Democrats' counter-memo

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Trump on February 2 allowed the release of the earlier memo written by the committee's Republicans, escalating a campaign criticizing current and former senior law enforcement officials. Nunes, who "temporarily" recused himself from the committee's Russian Federation investigation after it was revealed he obtained "unmasking" information directly from White House officials, has nonetheless been leading a shadow investigation geared towards discrediting the FBI's probe of Trump and Russian Federation.

We have some breaking news tonight about those competing Democratic and Republican memos from the House Intelligence Committee.

"However, given the public interest and transparency in these unprecedented circumstances, the president has directed that Justice Department personnel be available to give technical assistance to the committee".

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. Democrats are asking what Trump is trying to hide.

According to the Post, GOP leaders in the House are "dispensing with the memo format" as a means to sway the national discourse, with some party leaders expressing regret over the whirlwind scandal that unfolded in recent weeks.

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Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, appearing late Friday on CNN, said he would withhold judgment as to whether the White House decision was politically motivated until he and other members of the House Judiciary Committee heard from "the professionals" at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department.

He also said the memo was a "shameful effort to discredit" the FBI and DOJ, during the investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russian officials. Among those passages are some that the Justice Departments says could compromise intelligence sources and methods, ongoing investigations and national security if disclosed.

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have several options.

A congressional panel this week voted unanimously to release the document.

Trump's move could increase pressure to release the entire application for the warrant to electronically monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page that was submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

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On Saturday, Trump defended his decision on the rebuttal, saying the memo is "very political" and "long". Democrats say the court was informed that a former British spy, Christopher Steele, who assembled the dossier, was politically motivated.

"We're going to release a letter", Mr Trump said.

The disagreements have escalated over the previous year as Democrats have charged that Republicans aren't taking the panel's investigation into Russian election meddling seriously enough. "This would be a very destructive decision", says Rep. Adam Schiff, who adds that separating staff "would be a awful mistake".

Democrats on the intelligence committee complained the Republicans' four-page memo cherry-picked facts and explained events out of context and was thus not accurate.

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 American people deserve the opportunity to read both memos", he added.

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In response, Schiff told Bloomberg News, "That's their spin", referring to Republicans.

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