Trump blocks Democratic memo on Russia probe

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Washington, Feb 10 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has stopped the release of a Democratic memo that seeks to undercut Republican claim that the FBI misused its powers in conducting the Russia probe.

The White House informed this on Friday and said the Democratic memo contained several classified passages.

It said Trump “will not release the memo at this time, and has sent it back to the House Intelligence Committee for changes”, a CNN report said.

In a letter to the committee, White House counsel Donald McGahn said, “although the President is inclined to declassify the February 5 Memorandum, because the Memorandum contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages, he is unable to do so at this time.”

Trump had said earlier on Friday planned to release the memo. “It’s gonna be released soon,” Trump told reporters, adding, “We’re going to release a letter.”

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The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Monday to release the 10-page Democratic memo, and the committee rules gave Trump five days to decide whether to block or allow its release.

The memo was written by Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the committee, to rebut the Republican memo released one week prior.

The Republican memo had accused the Federal Bureau of Investigation of suppressing Democratic ties to an opposition research dossier on Trump and Russia used to procure a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant against former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

The FBI and the Justice Department are probing the interference of Russia in the 2016 presidential poll.

–IANS

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