Dem senator: GOP prepared to compromise the 'rule of law’ to protect Trump

Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinGOP senators would support postponing State of the Union Bipartisan group of senators will urge Trump to reopen government for 3 weeks Dems blast EPA nominee at confirmation hearing MORE (D-Md.) said on Thursday that Republicans are ready to compromise the rule of law to protect President TrumpDonald John TrumpPentagon update to missile defense doctrine will explore space-base technologies, lasers to counter threats Giuliani: 'I never said there was no collusion' between the Trump campaign and Russia Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles MORE by releasing a GOP-crafted memo alleging what some members of the party have called “shocking” surveillance abuses at the Department of Justice.

"There used to be a time that Democrats and Republicans joined together to protect the FBI, the Department of Justice, but it looks like the Republicans are prepared to compromise our rule of law system in order to protect the president," Cardin told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day." 

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"This to me is very sad and dangerous. We're talking about defending the rule of law, defending the independence of the Department of Justice. You would think that Congress would stand up for the independence of the Department of Justice," he continued. 

The House Intelligence Committee voted on Monday to release the four-page memo, which was drafted by the committee's chairman, Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesBlack Caucus sees power grow with new Democratic majority Nunes's 2018 Dem challenger launches voting rights group Democrats: Concentrate on defeating, not impeaching MORE (R-Calif.).

The document reportedly contains allegations of improper FBI surveillance of Trump campaign communications.

Trump will decide whether to approve or reject its release. 

The president was heard reassuring Rep. Jeff DuncanJeffrey (Jeff) Darren DuncanHouse conservatives want ethics probe into Dems' handling of Kavanaugh allegations Bipartisan group of lawmakers offer bill to provide certainty following online sales tax ruling Conservatives blame McCarthy for Twitter getting before favorable committee MORE (R-S.C.) after his State of the Union address on Tuesday, saying the memo would "100 percent" be released. 

Democrats argue that the memo contains classified information and should not be made public.