A memo drafted by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee poses serious concerns for national security and law enforcement, President Donald Trump’s counsel said in a letter, citing concerns by the DOJ and the FBI.
In the letter Donald F. McGahn II offered the House committee technical assistance by the DOJ to modify the memo to mitigate the national security risks.
“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’s letter read.
The letter also said the “Executive Branch stands ready to review any subsequent draft of the February 5th Memorandum for declassification at the earliest opportunity.”
The memo was reviewed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice (DOJ), after which the agencies, including the FBI, which falls under the DOJ, provided their recommendations to the President.
In a tweet Saturday morning, Trump commented on the Democratic memo: “The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency. Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!”
The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency. Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
A seperate memo, authored by Republicans on the House committee was approved for release by the White House on Feb. 2, after having gone through the same security process.
Despite initial warnings from members of the DOJ and FBI that the Republican memo would reveal law enforcement sources and methods, this turned out not to be the case.
The memo mostly relied on testimonies given to the committee, as well as public sourcing, to show how the FBI and DOJ relied on information contained in the so-called Trump dossier to obtain a FISA spy warrant on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.
The dossier was authored by former British spy Christopher Steele, who had been hired by opposition firm Fusion GPS to produce the dossier. Fusion GPS had been hired by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to produce the dossier.
In his dossier, which consists of a number of memo’s, Steele relies almost exclusively on Kremlin-linked sources.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) implied in an interview with Fox News on Feb. 7 that longtime Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal also provided information to Steele.
Top officials in the FBI and DOJ had signed off on the request for the FISA warrant that hid from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court the origins of the allegations that Page was an agent working for Russia—a criminal offense.