Dem rep: ‘Negotiations’ ongoing on Democratic countermemo

A Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee said Friday that negotiations over the release of the Democrats' countermemo on alleged government surveillance abuses are still ongoing. 

In an interview with CNN, Rep. Mike QuigleyMichael (Mike) Bruce QuigleyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump touts handshake with Kim, tariff freeze with Xi Repeat of border aid battle expected with Homeland Security bill Battle lines drawn for Mueller testimony MORE (D-Ill.) said that Democrats on the committee were still in discussions with the FBI and the Justice Department over what information needed to be redacted from the report before it could be released.

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"I believe they're still in discussions and negotiations," Quigley told CNN's John Berman. "Again, let's compare. [The Republicans'] memo was released with almost no scrutiny. We wanted our memo to work with the FBI and the Justice Department to make sure they were comfortable with its release."

Quigley added that if President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE wanted the Democrats' version to be released sooner, that it was entirely within his control to do so.

"If the White House wanted it released, they could have helped," he said. "It would be out by now."

Quigley's comments come weeks after Trump authorized the release of the controversial memo that alleged bias against Trump in the FBI. The memo was crafted by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, led by Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesDemocrats' opposition research got exposed — this time, not by the Russians GOP consultant sued by Nunes asks for help paying legal costs Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data MORE (R-Calif.).

Its release was hotly contested by top intelligence officials and Democrats.

“The President’s double standard when it comes to transparency is appalling,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNYT: Don't make Acosta a political martyr Charities say they never received donations touted by Jeffrey Epstein: report Schumer to donate Epstein campaign contributions to groups fighting sexual violence MORE (D-N.Y.) said. “The rationale for releasing the Nunes memo, transparency, vanishes when it could show information that’s harmful to him. Millions of Americans are asking one simple question: what is he hiding?”

In response to the memo's release, committee Democrats authored a countermemo with information expanding on that of the Nunes memo. But the publication of the Democrat memo has stalled in recent days after an initial push to have Trump declassify the document.

The president ultimately blocked the release of the document, placing the blame on Democrats for filling the memo with content that he said needed too many redactions.

"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," Trump tweeted.

"Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!"