Trump blocks release of Russia memo drafted by Democrats

By REUTERS
February 10, 2018 03:48
1 minute read.
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President Donald Trump on Friday blocked the release of a classified memo written by congressional Democrats to rebut a Republican document that he allowed to be made public last week that claimed FBI and Justice Department bias against him in the federal probe of Russia and the 2016 U.S. election.

The White House said the Justice Department had identified portions of the memo that "would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests" of the country.

A week earlier, Trump had overruled objections from the Federal Bureau of Investigation about releasing the Republican memo that took aim at senior law enforcement officials.

The House of Representatives Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Monday to release the 10-page document drafted by the panel's Democrats, contingent on the Republican president agreeing to reclassify it.

Trump on Feb. 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. Democrats said the Republican memo mischaracterized highly sensitive classified information and was intended to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of potential collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia.

Mueller is also investigating whether Trump has committed obstruction of justice in trying to impede the Russia probe.

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