US President Donald Trump has dashed Democrats’ hopes of releasing a politicised rebuttal to the Republicans’ memo.
This outcome was almost certainly foreseen. The Democrats likely hope to make the most of Trump’s move. And you can expect the partisan noise to heat up over the coming week.
The classified memo written by congressional Democrats to rebut a Republican document made public last week is ‘very political and long’ and would have to be ‘heavily redacted’ before it could be released, Trump has tweeted.
Trump on Friday blocked the release of the memo, which seeks to respond to a Republican memo that Trump allowed to be released.
The Republican memo claimed FBI and Justice Department bias against Trump in the federal investigation of Russia and the 2016 US presidential election.
Trump tweeted on Saturday:
‘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!’
Trump’s decision to block the release of the memo infuriated Democrats, who said it showed a double standard on transparency on the part of the Republican president.
Trump on 2 February allowed the release of the memo written by Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee with no redactions.
Democrats said the Republican memo mischaracterised highly sensitive classified information and was intended to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of potential collusion between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.
The Australian Tribune with RAW