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Adam Schiff: Republicans' Hypocrisy on FISA Memos 'Grabs You By the Throat'

12 February 2018

Democrats knew the White House would have to edit or block the document, the Republicans said, thus exposing President Trump to charges of hypocrisy.

Trump's decision drew Democratic outrage since the President upheld objections of the FBI and Justice Department over publishing the Democratic memo, but last week ignored the bureau's calls for him not to declassify the GOP memo that was politically advantageous to him.

That would allow them, he said, to "blame the White House for lack of transparency". "The meaning of the "(and more)" was not immediately clear.

"The memorandum contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages", White House Counsel Don McGahn said. What if the manufactured brouhaha over the Democratic memo's release is really just for optics, to make Trump and the GOP look like they're hiding something? Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion. Whatever the case, Trump, who declared last weekend that the GOP memo "totally vindicates" him, is losing support from his own party as he elevates the rhetoric against the FBI and DOJ, which are overseeing the special counsel investigation into Russian Federation and Trump's actions before and after he became president.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., tweeted Friday that he had seen both the Democratic and Republican memos, that neither is damaging to national security and that the Democratic response should be released.

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The full House could still vote to release the Democratic memo in its current form.

The president later said the Republican memo, released by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., "totally vindicates" Trump from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

The minority memo describes in greater detail why law enforcement officials wanted to conduct surveillance on Page beyond the information contained in the Steele dossier, according to sources familiar with the document.

At the time, Democrats complained that the Republican memo didn't give an accurate picture of how the warrants were supported and whether it was disclosed that political organizations bankrolled the dossier.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway implored Democrats to be patient with the process.

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Democrats last week warned Mr Trump against using the Republican memo as a pretext to fire Mr Rosenstein, who hired Mr Mueller and oversees the investigation, or to remove Mr Mueller himself.

The Democratic memo is believed to elaborate on these points.

They argued that the reliance on Steele's material amounted to an improper politicization of the government's surveillance powers.

The letter, written by Donald McGahn and sent to House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., cites national security concerns. "This is an American disgrace!" the president tweeted February 3, one day after the Nunes memo was released.

What appears obvious is the chair of the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, cherry-picked selective classified intelligence information to demean the work of our intelligence people in a manner meant to undercut the Mueller investigation.

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Adam Schiff: Republicans' Hypocrisy on FISA Memos 'Grabs You By the Throat'