Free Minds & Free Markets

White House Won't Declassify Dems' Memo on Campaign Surveillance—at Least Not Yet

Trump says he's inclined to do so, but letter expresses concerns about "sensitive passages."

Donald TrumpChris Kleponis/dpa/picture-alliance/NewscomThe White House has alerted Congress it will not yet declassify the memo put together by House Democrats that provided their own interpretation of the circumstances of the federal surveillance of a Donald Trump aide during and following the 2016 president election.

The letter from White House Counsel Donald McGahn explained, "The Department [of Justice] has identified portions of the February 5th Memorandum the disclosure of which it believes would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests."

The letter concludes that President Trump wants to ultimately declassify the memo and has asked the Justice Department to assist the Intelligence Committee to make any changes or redactions needed. There was a second letter that was not publicly disclosed (no doubt due to the classified information within) detailing to the House Intelligence Committee the problems they have with releasing the memo.

This memo was put together by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Democrats in the House Intelligence Committee in direct response to the four-page memo by staff of Intelligence Chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). The Nunes memo claimed that the FBI concealed from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court the politicized roots of the "Steele dossier" used to justify snooping on aide Carter Page in order to investigate his ties to Russia.

Democrats wrote a longer memo that purportedly explains that the FBI were not reliant on the dossier as the sole piece of evidence to convince the court to authorize a wiretap and that the court did know about the dossier's political background. But obviously we do not at this point know what the additional evidence is.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) quickly jumped on Twitter to say he disagreed with the White House's decision:

Trump earlier today said that the memo would be released soon. So we'll have to see if they work things out. Read the response from McGahn here.

Photo Credit: Chris Kleponis/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom

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  • Don't look at me.||

    All in DC are idiots. Anyone who defends anyone in DC is an idiot as well. Screw all these people. Vote everyone out.

  • Rockabilly||

    Right on, and I'm not looking at you, are you looking at me?

  • Don't look at me.||

    You talking to me? Are you talking to me? Well, then who the Hell else are you talking- You talking to me? Well, I'm the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you're talking to? Oh yeah? Huh?

  • In Time Of War||

    IGNORE ME!!!

  • Libertarian||

    All in DC are NOT idiots. I get annoyed when I hear this (especially if the speaker has the name of Sean Hannity, and he is talking about the GOP).

    Our politicians in DC are making money (salary plus bribes plus insider deals, etc.) and have lots of power. We taxpayers are sending them money for their salaries, their expenses, and their staffs, and we reelect them at an absurd rate.

    Politicians may be mendacious. They may be nefarious. But they are people with money and power living off the earnings of others (i.e. taxpayers) and therefore are anything but idiots. I've read that Americans are among the most honest in the world when it comes to paying their taxes. WE are the stupid ones.

  • Don't look at me.||

    They are idiots in the way they cannot do the simple job that they were hired for, like representing the taxpayers and running the government in an efficient manner.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Disaffected goobers are among my favorite goobers.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Not nearly as much as the ones you eat from your nose.

  • vek||

    If there is a name or something minor that needs to be blacked out, that's cool... But if he's trying to censor for content that he considers damaging, bad move. This needs to come out, as does the underlying paperwork, so we can see without spin just how corrupt our government is.

  • DenverJ||

    "he"? Yeah, Donald Trump himself is going through the memo line by line. Idiot.

  • Deflator Mouse||

    There can be an entire paragraph, an entire page even, that would have to be blacked out if it reveals sources and methods.

    Amash isn't really an unbiased source about the nature of the material as he is a transparency ideologue (even at the expense of national security).

  • Agammamon||

    No. Reveal sources and methods. This isn't a 'muh terrorists, muh military!' memo - its a 'did Russia do to us what we've been doing to other countries for several generations now' memo.

    Nobody's getting tossed off a building because the DoJ reveals they talked to someone about this.

  • vek||

    I would be down for releasing everything unedited, and so would many others here... But unfortunately lots of people wouldn't be okay with "Burn it down!" levels of transparency.

    That said, I doubt anything too important in that respect could even be in any of this stuff, so they should be able to release things unredacted or close to it.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    The intelligence committee voted unanimously to release the memo so Amash is not exactly a loose cannon here. What seems undisputed here is that the fisa court relied, at least in part, on politically motivated "evidence" in granting a surveillance warrant. This should be disturbing to anyone and we need to see exactly what sources and methods this secret court is using to facilitate the police state. Even J. Edgar Hoover would be embarrassed by this shit.

  • Deven||

    To be fair, I'm pretty sure they voted to release it before they even saw it.

    Regardless, the whole point of this isn't really FISA abuse, like any of these people actually care about that. The point is to show that they were spying on Trump's campaign. In the court of public opinion, the bar for that is going to be extremely high, and unless they caught Trump or his son red-handed, the Democrats are fucked. This is nothing more than setting up the story.

  • Mark22||

    But if he's trying to censor for content that he considers damaging, bad move

    He's trying to delay the Democratic response until he's had a chance to frame the debate. It's a strategic delay. Glad to see he's learning some dirty tricks from his opponents.

    This needs to come out, as does the underlying paperwork,

    It will.

  • vek||

    Yeah, that's round bouts what I was thinking.

  • DenverJ||

    Huh. Reason After Hours sure has slipped. Whar my ENB article about lesbian hookers?

  • Deflator Mouse||

    I suspect Schiff put classified stuff in the "counter-memo" in order to prevent the GOP members of the committee and/or the Trump admin from releasing it, so he could claim that the Nunes memo is wrong and the GOP is trying to cover up the reasons why.

  • SIV||


    I recall Schiff tried to say the Nunes memo shouldn't be released unless his was at the same time. Nunes and Reps said it could be if it went through the same screening process but they weren't going to wait. That is what seems to be happening.

  • Tony||

    The Trump admin didn't care about classified info the first time around.

    But I wonder the same thing. Trump is fucking dumb enough to be played like that.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|2.9.18 @ 11:07PM|#
    "The Trump admin didn't care about classified info the first time around."

    Shit-pile poster makes unsupported claim! Surprise not registered.
    Fuck off.

  • Tony||

    You really don't like it when Donald Trump is criticized huh.

  • Agammamon||

    No he doesn't.

    Too bad you've not criticized Trump here.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|2.9.18 @ 11:45PM|#
    "You really don't like it when Donald Trump is criticized huh."
    If you ever read what I post here, you'd see I bust Trump on many things. But a lefty ignoramus like you is pretty much impervious to facts.
    Fuck off, you pathetic excuse for humanity.

  • Agammamon||

    Hmm, except that the Nunes memo *couldn't be released* originally - because it contained classified material that needed to be gone over to see if it could be declassified.

    So . . . *someone* cared enough to go through all that.

  • Pompey:何 Class Mothersmucker||

    Oh that's precious, Hihn. You suck off the intelligence community too? Oh girl, please.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I didn't know males could have daddy issues until I saw wingnuts line up on their knees to service Trump.

    Carry on, clingers. Less slobbery, maybe.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Jesus you're a tiresome asshole.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain.
    and most fools do

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano speaks from experience.


  • damikesc||

    Trump declassified the 4-page memo AGAINST the advise of his intelligence community.
    Fascism rules.

    I'll bite --- how is that "fascism"?

  • Mark22||

    That's a police state

    No, that is not a police state.

    When THE most aggressive Hillary prosecutor calls out his own President as a liar

    Politicians lie. This is news to you?

  • damikesc||

    Extracting 4 pages of classified material from hundreds of pages.
    Censoring any and all challenges or corrections.
    The main conspirator decides what gets unclassified.

    He wrote nether memo. And stories abounded that the Dems intentionally put classified stuff in theirs to cause this.

    Trump announced he would declassify the Nunes memo, site unseen.

    ...yet he had it checked out. That's why there were some redactions.

    Nunes admits he never read the underlying data.

    Nunes wasn't the only one writing and working on the memo.

    And even Trey Gowdey says the partisan hysteria is wrong, the memo has NOTHING to do with the Russian investigation, which would have commenced anyhow.

    Do you realize how astonishingly high a percentage of the FISA courts denial of a petition to "surveil" came from the denials in this case? Yet, eventually, they got one approved. Only apparent difference was the Steele memo. No, it would not have commenced without it.

    When THE most aggressive Hillary prosecutor calls out his own President as a liar

    Did Gowdy mention Trump once?

    The rest of your post kinda goes off the rails there. No clue what you're getting at.

    And you still didn't explain how it is "fascism". Perhaps it'd be best to have you define what you think "fascism" is.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Extracting 4 pages of classified material from hundreds of pages.

    Feel free to point out which parts of the memo were damaging to national security.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano admits he doesn't know which parts were damaging to national security.

  • Mark22||


    Does that mean you're actually leaving Hihn? Are you finally going to stop bullying and insulting people?

  • vek||

    Look at that memo... WTF in that should be classified??? There's nothing sensitive in there, other than some specific dates, and stuff that was more or less already known publicly.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Do we believe you, or the changes that were forced?

    Which specific changes? You're asserting that the information in the memo is damaging to national security--which specific parts are you referring to and what level of classification should they be at?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    The ones required to declassify the memo.

    Which are?

    Was Until items were redacted.

    So you're admitting the Nunes memo as released wasn't damaging to national security?

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    Nunea removed the classified info before sending it to Trump. The Dems pretended to be outraged.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||


  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Drama Queen A person who habitually responds to situations in a melodramatic way.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano thinks being teased on an internet forum is the equivalent of being thrown in the gas chamber.

  • Deven||

    What information in the Nunes memo should have been classified? I'm not seeing anything that shows sources or methods other than "our method is to do some highly illegal shit", and "here are the sources that helped us do said highly illegal shit."

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    We cant just have politicians saying random shiznit!

  • RightWingA**hole||

    For a more detailed description, go over to PowerLine:

  • GILMORE™||

    They should stop fucking around with the "he said/she said" memoranda and just release the fucking FISA applications themselves.

    Of course they won't. they'll pretend that they don't want to reveal which "foreign targets" they were using x or y method of surveillance against in the course of snooping on domestic political adversaries.

    but there should only be 1 story here: releasing exactly what the FBI argued in front of FISC. anything other than that is just someone else's spin on the same secondhand info.

  • Sevo||

    "releasing exactly what the FBI argued in front of FISC"
    All else is commentary.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    WTF, we already know the whole affair is like a Hal Roach /3 Stooges movie (nyuk, nyuk). Incompetents being incompetent is pretty common knowledge. That cat is long since got out of the bag so release the fucking Hounds for Pete's sake.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Thank you. I could not have said it better.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Yeah, he's going to fuck with them a while on this. I wouldn't be surprised if everyone eventually moves on and it never sees the light of day.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Watching Trump "fuck with" a few committee Democrats on this one while the special prosecutor "fucks with" the entire Trump campaign and White House sounds like a great bargain.

    Or, we could watch Hope Hicks "fuck with" everyone on the boytoy carousel (the married one, the wife-beating one, the Michael Wolff crumbtrail one) that is the totally professional Trump West Wing.

    Her father must be so proud. Her boss must be so hard-up.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Little Arthur sure is pissed that the head cheerleader wouldn't fuck him in high school

  • damikesc||

    Don't be surprised that Trump is treading very lightly, since he can be overridden on declassifying material.

    You're aware that this couldn't be more incorrect if you tried, right? Trump has unilateral power to declassify. But if the declassification is going to risk losing assets et al, there's no benefit in doing so.

  • damikesc||

    Either the House or Senate Intelligence Committees can declassify.. It's called check and balances.

    ...that "overrides" Trump how?

    The FBI may declassify on it's own -- and did so at the request of Senator Grassley, by declassifying parts of the Steele memo which had been redacted.

    And who ultimately runs the FBI?

    I'll give you a hint: Current boss's name rinds with "Crump"

    A letter by Senators Grassley and Graham declassifies additional information, discrediting some conclusions of the Nunes memo.

    Explains the redactions.

    And you're aware it actually bolstered the Nunes memo, right?

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Jesus you're a tiresome asshole (snort).

  • damikesc||

    Anything he decides not to!

    With the approval of the full House or Senate, sure.

    I, uh, notice they aren't doing so.

    ON ITS OWN (snort)

    The FBI isn't its own branch of the government.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    (Why did you lie about my words to bury your fuckup?)

    Why do you lie about everything else?

  • Deven||

    Technically any member of Congress can "declassify" by speaking on the floor. It was done during Watergate.

    Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Hihnfection!!!!!! Run for your lives!!!!

  • Procyon Rotor||

    Why run? It's the most entertaining illness ever! Maybe we'll get another performance from his Elilis Wyatt sock account repeating that hilarious joke about slurping Trump's cock a hundred times in one thread. He was obviously so proud of it, it'd be a shame to let it die so soon.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You've made yourself a laughing stock.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    He beclowns himself with his every post.

  • Mark22||

    Verbal hostility

    Well deserved in your case.

  • sparkstable||

    Other people calling you names (at worst) or pointing out flaws in you claims prevents you from posting, how?

    So... they aren't actually "shouting you down." You are just screaming "LOOK AT ME! I AM SMRT!!!" (Bonus points if anyone picks up the reference!). Or "LOOK AT ME! I THINK I AM A VICTIM!!"

    Either start being honest or just go away. You aren't even annoying anymore. At least there was entertainment there. Now you are predictably boring. That's the worst.

    And don't bother responding. I'm not reading it. It will be a waist of your time, no doubt like this post will be due to the nature of its intended recipient.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||


  • Mark22||

    You're projecting your own faults onto other: "Hihn, a major aggressor, is PROUD to be a thug, shouting down those he disagrees with."

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    At the risk of repeating yourself (snort).

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano mewling like a crybaby bitch again.

    Go whine to the Koch brothers some more about us, loser.


  • Procyon Rotor||

    Oh, you forgot one! Here, I'll finish your thought for you.

    When Jesus was hanging on the cross, was he being "a crybaby bitch" when he yelled out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

    You sure told us, Hihn. Truly, we have subjected you to violence as bad as anything that happened during the holocaust. I have to go and reflect on my awful psychopathy now that I have been shown the truth.

  • Procyon Rotor||

    Shhhhhh, sh sh sh sh. I'm still reflecting. It's awfully aggressive of you to interrupt me like that.

  • Deven||

    Is anyone else waiting in anticipation of the day Rev Arthur Kirkland and Hihn get in a fight?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano thinks being teased on an internet forum is the equivalent of being lined up against a wall and being shot by Nazis.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Team Blue should just dispense with the Tango and leak the fucker, it's going to happen anyway. Fucking drama queens the lot of 'em.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Better to let the wingnuts look like cowering snowflakes for a while. Dump the information closer to the elections.

  • damikesc||

    Because voters are going to care what noted sub-human Schiff though about something 9 months after the fact...

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Democrats wrote a longer memo that purportedly explains that the FBI were not reliant on the dossier as the sole piece of evidence to convince the court to authorize a wiretap and that the court did know about the dossier's political background."

    It will be interesting to see how they square this when it comes out. For the moment, this reads like a proverbial "non-denial denial".

    As I linked earlier this week, FISA court applications for warrants were rejected 12 times since 1979 out of more than 32,000 applications, and the FBI's application for a warrant to do surveillance on the Trump administration was rejected by the FISA court twice before it was finally accepted in October of 2016. The difference between the ones the two that were rejected and the one that was accepted was that the application for a warrant that was accepted by the FISA court contained the information from the Steele dossier.

    To say that the Steele dossier wasn't the sole piece of evidence appears to ignore the fact that whatever other evidence the accepted application contained in the Steele dossier, it was the same evidence that was insufficient to obtain a warrant from the FISA court twice. If the Steele dossier was the difference between the application being accepted or rejected, then whatever other evidence the FBI's application depended on was inconsequential--even if it was there.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Thanks for the stats. I've lived through the Bay of Pigs, the Kennedy assassination, Watergate, Iran Contra, The Church committee, the Pentagon Papers, Weapons of Mass Destruction and dozens of other scandals lies and perfidy. No one denies that Obama's FBI used a dossier paid for by the Democratic party to convince the fisa court to issue a warrant for surveillance of an American citizen who was working for the Republican nominee. The Democrats can parse it any way they want but their guy was in charge and it looks like a major scandal to me. Nixon sent some hired guys to break into the Watergate hotel to look at Democrat party documents and resigned under bipartisan threat of impeachment. Obama sends the FBI to the fisa court to get dirt on HRC's opponent and Wapo and the NYT tell us somehow Trump and the Republicans are endangering national security by pointing out the obvious. I think this story, at this point, is every bit as scandalous as Watergate. Reason Magazine does not agree.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Possibly Trump is allowing the Democrats to show they're liars again (their claims of the Nunes memo revealing methods and sources which was a Democrat lie), and eventually plans to declassify all the underlying evidence to show just how much the government spies on citizens, and how much the Democrats have been lying about the whole thing. Dem. Rep Jarrold Nadler released talking points in response to the Nunes memo including this gem:

    "There is no reason to dispute the Nunes memo's assertion that the FBI was actively investigating the Trump campaign months before they approached the court about Carter Page."

    So Democrats now admit, they were spying on the Trump campaign before they got a FISA warrant for Page. I'd like to hear about that and the probable cause to spy on Trump.

    If all the evidence is shown, perhaps that will lead to stopping the mass surveillance.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano and his manic episodes

  • Deven||

    Jr released the emails in full, which also exposed whatever hack journalist that was for selectively editing. Kind of hard to claim obstruction when you give full transparency.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    This could be a simple case of Don McGahn being too busy trying to defend wife-beaters to deal with this right now.

  • Mark22||

    This could be a simple case of Don McGahn being too busy trying to defend wife-beaters to deal with this right now.

    Yeah, just get it over with and shoot anybody accused by any woman! It's the right thing to do!

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Jesus, you're a tiresome asshole (snort).

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano thinks citing his own comments is evidence.

  • Azathoth!!||

    not 'evidence'--PROOF (snort)

  • Mark22||

    Yeah, just misrepresent and lie about what somebody says.

    You seem to have trouble with concepts like "sarcasm" and "hyperbole", confusing them with "misrepresenting and lying".

  • damikesc||

    He should just the other way while his VP gropes underage Creepy Joe did.

  • Michael Cook||

    Patience, patience. What people forget about our POTUS is that he can chew gum, walk, talk, and text simultaneously. While you carry on a debate across a conference table outside the window surveyers are measuring plots, bulldozers are pushing dirt, cement trucks are arriving, and furnishings for the finished structure are already ordered.

    There is a lot going on in this administration at the moment. I predict that a month from now the Dem memo will be out, but outflanked by firings at the DOJ, tons more shade thrown on Robert Mueller (if not his firing), the appointment of a new special counsel whose initials will be T.G., and the rolling out of massive infrastructure projects.

    Trump approval ratings will hover at 46%, which is the percentage of the vote he received in the 2016 election. The deficit will be bad, but not so bad as predicted by some because the economy is dancing on the moon. Korea may even be reunified. Putin may start open war in Syria but the US and Israel defeat him.

  • Tony||

    Trump can barely read.

  • Deven||

    I always get a kick out of this idea that Trump is a moron.

    Sure he has some strange personality traits, but the belief that he is stupid is pure projection.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    The Nation gathers the evidence for russiagate.

  • tgrondo||

    Oh Boy....Coming Soon....Dueling Memos!

    Accusations at 50 paces....My memo is tougher than your memo! My memo can kick your memo's ass!

    With this memo....I will prove...beyond a shadow of a doubt....that...My side is great cause it's my side...Your side sucks cause it's your side!

    I Can Hardly. Fuckin'. Wait....

  • Brett Bellmore||

    This would be consistent with the rumors immediately after the Democratic memo was drafted, that Democrats had deliberately larded it down with classified information, so that when it was inevitably redacted they could cry foul. It's theater, nothing more.

    Since they got caught corrupting the FBI to conduct surveillance on the opposing party's Presidential campaign, and out of the blue lost the election, and thus their capacity to bury what they'd done, theater and obfuscation is all they have. Meanwhile the IG's investigation marches forward, and they know it's coming.

    All they can hope for at this point is to run out the clock, and if they can take the Senate in the fall elections they'll have a power base from which to defend themselves from the revelations. If they don't take the Senate, they're screwed.

  • Michael Cook||

    I am making $15/hr being a retired government employee. Now I have the free time to debate/shout at/be bewildered by posters like Hihn and AK. Now that the economy is hotting up I may have to re-enter the work force in a job where real labor is required, something I last tried in 1979.


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