What’s Left: The Release of the GOP-Nunes Intelligence Memo

Jace DeMar

Intelligence Isn’t Partisan

In last week’s edition of The Colgate Maroon-News, the Commentary section elected to write about the release of the “Nunes Memo” and its broader implications on the ongoing Russia probe surrounding President Trump. The author of the “Being Right” column viewed the release of the memo in a positive light, applauding the decision to provide more information to the American public. Madalo wrote that, “It has become evident that the only way the truth behind the memo will be revealed is if more information concerning the investigation… is made public.” Seemingly heeding Madalo’s advice, the House Intelligence Committee voted on February 5 to release the “Democratic response” to the Nunes memo. The bipartisan vote reflected an effort to provide more information to the public. The only problem? President Trump is not interested in bipartisan transparency, and he is not interested in the truth.

What Trump is interested in, however, is politicizing the FBI and the intelligence community in a manner that he believes will be politically beneficial for him and his administration. The decision to reject the Democratic response memo after releasing the Nunes memo only days earlier reveals an astounding level of hypocrisy from the President. Concerns over national security or the release of potentially dangerous classified information can no longer be deemed a credible excuse. Instead, it is clear that Trump is willing to use the bureau as a political tool. This flagrant affront to the credibility of our intelligence community should be a cause of grave concern for all American citizens. 

Consider the optics. In the span of one week, the President of the United States used his executive authority to declassify selective intelligence that he claimed “vindicated” him. Then he turned around and refused to make public other intelligence information that supposedly suggests otherwise. To make matters worse, the House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to release the response memo. By overriding this bipartisan support, Trump is signaling that he has a more personal reason for rejecting the memo’s release. In the day following Trump’s decision, CNN wrote that, “Democrats warn this does not just amount to a double standard, but also reflects a pattern of attempts by the President to frustrate the investigation because he has something to hide.” One must wonder why House Republicans were comfortable with the memo being released, but the President was not.

Now that the Nunes Memo has been released, it’s only right to release the response memo, which was composed by House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member and Democrat Adam Schiff (D-CA). If the Nunes memo is truly about transparency and providing information to the public, it is impossible to justify the rejection of the response memo. Republican Senator Justin Amash took to Twitter following Trump’s decision, writing, “The American people deserve the opportunity to read both memos.” He also added that he has already read both memos, and that, “neither one endangers national security.” For the President to pick and choose what intelligence information he releases to the public on the basis of partisan politics is a direct attack to our constitution and democracy. We must not allow the President to threaten the integrity and impartiality that has defined the FBI for decades. 

When asked about Trump’s decision to deny the release of the response memo, many Congressional Democrats voiced their displeasure. Regarding the decision, Representative Jim Himes (D-CT) said, “I’m not surprised,” in a public statement. “Those on the side of truth don’t fear transparency.” The Trump administration and Republicans must be consistent in their calls for transparency if they truly have nothing to hide. Trump’s decision to selectively release information is both an attack on our intelligence community and a gross display of partisan hypocrisy. Americans deserve the complete and unbiased truth – not a false narrative promoted through deception and distorted information.

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