Before the vote, Trump charged in a tweet that Schiff “leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information” and “must be stopped” – suggesting the president may decide not to allow the Democrats’ assertions to be made public. We are also given to understand that pertinent information was improperly withheld from the judge: the fact that Steele’s firm was initially hired by Democrats seeking dirt on Trump.
It is a dubious distinction, but in the Donald Trump era, a single shorthand phrase – “the memo” – now connotes some of the same breathless intrigue, cloak-and-dagger characters and partisan fire of distant political scandals, from Watergate to Whitewater.
Trump has until Friday to block the release of the document, which is still classified.
“According to news reports President Trump himself has acknowledged that the release of the memo was created to disrupt Robert Mueller’s investigation”.
Appearing on CBS’ “Face The Nation”, the South Carolina Republican devoted little attention to the memo’s central argument: that intelligence officials failed to disclose how much they relied on a partially Democrat-funded dossier in obtaining a surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D- Calif., center, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, walks back to the meeting room after speaking to members of the media, Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington. The memo in general, Schiff said, was a collection of “cherry-picked” facts. The dispute has caused an extraordinary breach between the White House and law enforcement and deepened partisan rancor.
Both Nunes and the White House have rejected allegations that they collaborated on the crafting of the memo, suspicions that several top Democrats have raised.
The Republican memo is not the end but rather the beginning to exposing behind-the-scenes maneuvering by liberals to keep Donald Trump out of the White House and put Hillary Clinton in it. On Saturday, he claimed, incorrectly, that the memo “totally vindicates” him in the continuing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The memo itself acknowledges – quietly – that the whole probe began with George Papadopoulos, another campaign adviser, months before Page even came into the picture.
Bannon is also scheduled to be interview by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team next week.
There are a number of facts that show Nunes’ conclusion-that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and top Justice Department officials were “abusing their authority for political purposes”-was overstated”.
The Republican memo was drafted by the office of the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Representative Devin Nunes, and other GOP members of Congress. It’s not clear Trump agrees.
President Trump met with a top Justice Department official Tuesday to review a classified Democratic memo on the Russian Federation investigation, less than a week after he brushed aside objections from the same agency over releasing a Republican account.
On Monday, Trump took a swipe at Schiff via Twitter.
He also cautioned Americans following the story to be prepared for frustrations at how hard it is to make more information public, noting that intelligence investigations are necessarily secretive so as not to damage national security and intelligence interests.
The real problem is that by doing it the way they did it, they conflated in the public mind the overarching Mueller mission … with this whole idea of a Trump-Russian collusion angle. That’s a message that Ryan and other responsible Republicans need to echo.