A week ago, Trump declassified the Republican-written memo accusing the FBI and Justice Department of being biased against the president and abusing their power in the investigation looking into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to manipulate the 2016 election. On Friday, he opted to block the release of a memo by Democrats refuting every allegation in the GOP’s document.
House Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi was quick to slam Trump’s hypocrisy and desperation in a statement:
President Trump’s refusal to release Intelligence Committee Democrats’ memo is a stunningly brazen attempt to cover up the truth about the Trump-Russia scandal from the American people. The President’s decision to block the Democratic memo from release is part of a dangerous and desperate pattern of cover-up on the part of the President. Clearly, the President has something to hide.
The U.S. intelligence community has concluded, and members of Trump’s cabinet agree, that the Russians interfered in our election and plan to do so again. America’s intelligence and national security are being politicized. Why won’t the President put our country before his personal and political interests?
She went on to share similar statements on Twitter.
The US intel community has concluded, & members of Trump’s cabinet agree, that the Russians interfered in our election & plan to do so again. America’s national security is under attack. Why won’t the President put our country before his personal & political interests?
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) February 10, 2018
Before the Republican memo’s release, a White House official told reporters that Trump supported making it public because he favored “transparency.” This makes his unwillingness to release the Democratic response even more rich.
Despite the GOP memo being discredited by nearly every lawyer and expert who read through it as a blatant, politically-motivated attempt to misrepresent the Russia probe as a witch hunt, Trump tried to defend his decision to not release the Democratic rebuttal on grounds of it being too political.
“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,” he tweeted Saturday. “Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!”
Mr. President, what you call “political” are actually called facts, and your concern for sources and methods would be more convincing if you hadn’t decided to release the GOP memo (“100%”) before reading it and over the objections of the FBI. https://t.co/L48kAQOztL
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 10, 2018
Trump’s decision should come as no surprise. On Tuesday, Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes predicted Trump would do the very thing he’s done.
“I’ll tell you I’ve never seen this president participate in anything that doesn’t make him look good,” he said during an CNN interview. He added that Trump would likely perceive the Democratic memo as portraying him negatively because it was “a point-by-point refutation of the Republican memo.”
As Himes went on to point out, the most egregious part of Trump’s making the GOP memo being publicized is the fact that, for a noteworthy percentage of Americans, it succeeded in fomenting distrust for the intelligence community and the Russia probe.