House Intelligence Committee Drops Dem. Memo Bombshell On Trump’s Empty Desk

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Last week, President Donald Trump made a decision to publicly release a hotly contested and exaggerated memo, which allegedly had information about surveillance overreach and abuses committed by Department of Justice officials against the Trump administration. Despite the dramatization that surrounded the document, with some claiming that it made the Watergate scandal look small, upon the release of the memo, it became clear that the draft had little-to-no substantiative evidence within it.

The memo, drafted by staff of House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), not only held little evidence within it, but has also received backlash from agencies within the Justice Department, and even criticism from GOP lawmakers. Prior to its release, the FBI warned that the document may be misleading, given the omission of information to play in favor of the Republicans.

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As a result of the release, the Democrats have now drafted their own memo, which was voted unanimously by the House Intelligence Committee to be made public, but now awaits the approval of the president. According to a New York Times article,

‘The 10-page Democratic document is certain to be less flattering to his case. Democrats have said the memo corrects mischaracterizations by the Republicans and adds crucial context to actions by the F.B.I. and the Justice Department in obtaining a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order to wiretap the former Trump aide, Carter Page, in October 2016.’

Although it remains uncertain whether or not Trump will vote in line with the Intelligence Committee, House rules provide an extent of reassurance, as Democrats can hold a closed-door vote that has the possibility of overriding the president’s decision if he were to block the memo. Republicans in Congress have claimed that the current draft of the memo was too detailed for public release, and cited national security issues as justification for reducing the length of the document prior to release. However, interestingly enough, whereas GOP members now claim security as a reason to revise the Democratic document, they failed to heed the same warnings about their own memo when the FBI made a statement against its release.

With the White House and GOP claiming national security as their reasoning, Democrats have grown concerned about the redactions that may be made to their original draft, with some stating that the administration may remove pertinent information for political purposes. Yet, whereas some Republicans are asking for revising the draft, others, like Representative Tom Rooney (R-F.L.) believe that the document may not need to be redacted to the extent that his colleagues claim.

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Nevertheless, the unanimous decision by the House Intelligence Committee sends a clear and blatant message to the Trump administration on the release of the Democratic rebuttal to the Nunes memo. The 10-page document is said to rebut the GOP memo line by line, providing a more contextual and accurate representation of the circumstances in question. Any attempt by Trump to block the release of the memo would not only cause a firestorm within Congress, but shed light on the inaccuracies involved in the original Nunes memo.

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