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United States US memo war between Dems and Republicans escalates

A MEMO written by Democrats on the House intelligence committee as part of its investigation of Russian election interference was under review today at the White House, where President Donald Trump will decide whether to allow the public to read it.

Mr Trump declassified a document last week written by the committee's Republican majority that criticised methods the FBI used to obtain a surveillance warrant on a Trump campaign associate. Mr Trump said the Republican memo showed the FBI and Justice Department conspired against him in the Russia probe.

The House panel voted unanimously yesterday to release the Democrats’ memo, sending it to the White House for a legal and national security review. The memo, intended as a counter, has deepened a partisan divide on the committee, which is supposed to be jointly investigating Russian meddling and possible connections between Russia and Trump's presidential campaign.

Separate investigations are under way by special counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate intelligence committee.

Mr Trump declared over the weekend that the Republican memo "totally vindicates" him. Both Republicans and Democrats disputed that and Democrats also bemoaned the release of classified information and the possibility the precedent could compromise future investigations.

Senior committee Democrat Adam Schiff claimed the Democrat memo would expose “distortions and inaccuracies” in Thursday’s Republican memo, but he accused the White House of planning “political redactions” that would skew the text.

“The goal here is to undermine the FBI, discredit the FBI, discredit the Mueller investigation, do the president’s bidding,” Mr Schiff said.

Mr Trump called Mr Schiff “one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington” via Twitter, prompting the Democrat to demand the President “turn off the TV” and solve the nation’s problems.

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