WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump will decide whether the public will be allowed to read a memo written by House Democrats on its Russia probe. He has until the end of the week to decide whether to allow its release.
White House chief of staff John Kelly told reporters Tuesday afternoon that Trump hadn’t read the memo yet because Kelly said he had just given the president the document and that it was fairly lengthy.
Trump last week declassified a document written by the committee’s Republican majority that criticized methods the FBI used to obtain a surveillance warrant on a onetime Trump campaign associate.
The Democratic memo, intended as a counter to the GOP document, further diverted the committee this week from its investigation into Russian meddling and possible connections between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign.
The House panel voted unanimously Monday to release the Democratic memo, sending it to the White House for a legal and national security review. White House officials said they received the memo Monday evening, and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration “will follow the same process and procedure” it did with the Republican document - meaning Trump has five days to decide whether to allow the memo’s publication.
Though a final determination has not been reached, the memo is likely to be returned to the House this week for release. After initial review, the officials said, the Democratic memo is likely to require some redactions.
Separate investigations are underway by the Senate intelligence committee and special counsel Robert Mueller, whose team is scheduled to interview former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon next week.