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Colorado Democrats and Republicans disagree over secret Russia investigation memo

Author: Tom Ramstack - February 3, 2018 - Updated: February 5, 2018

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President Donald Trump smiles during State of the Union address in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol to a joint session of Congress on Jan. 30, in Washington. (Photo by Win McNamee/Pool via AP)

The memo President Donald Trump declassified Friday to show that the FBI allegedly wrongly accused him of misconduct in his election campaign turned up deep divisions between Colorado’s Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

Republicans such as Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, and Rep. Ken Buck, R-Windsor, agreed with the president.

However, Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Arvada, accused Trump of acting irresponsibly.

The memo from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee says the FBI’s investigation of whether the Russian government influenced the last presidential election in Trump’s favor was flawed, perhaps making it worthless.

The memo says there was “a troubling breakdown of legal processes” in the investigation. They allegedly included FBI and Justice Department officials seeking a surveillance warrant to monitor communications of a top Trump campaign associate who was suspected of collaborating with the Russians.

Trump says the memo cleared his reputation. Democrats say it proved nothing conclusive. The FBI says the memo is misleading and out of context.

“The American people can now read the intelligence memo that outlines what appear to be clear abuses of authority within the FBI and [Justice Department],” Lamborn said in a statement. “Any agency and anyone who steps outside that boundary must answer for it and it must not be permitted to happen again.”

Buck said, “I am deeply disappointed that senior leadership at the FBI and [Justice Department] used a partisan-funded and poorly researched memo to justify their efforts to spy on a political campaign. We need to implement reforms to the process that ensure these abuses of surveillance power never happen again.”

Bennet used the release of the memo to renew his criticism of Trump.

He accused Trump of trying “to distort the record and ultimately undermine the incontrovertible reputation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the credibility of his investigation.”

Mueller is the independent counsel appointed by Congress to lead the Russia investigation.

Bennet added, “Having had the privilege to work with the FBI earlier in my career, I find it particularly disgraceful that the president would disregard the judgment of the men and women at the FBI and the Justice Department. By releasing the memo, he is undermining the investigation into a foreign adversary’s interference in our democratic process and continuing to assault the integrity of the U.S. intelligence community. The President is showing, once again, that he cares more about himself than the country.”

Perlmutter agreed with Bennet in a Tweet.

“This is nothing more than an attempt to discredit and distract from the Mueller investigation,” Perlmutter wrote. “It begs the question: why do Trump and his allies keep trying to thwart this investigation? What are they afraid of coming out or what are they trying to hide?”

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, did not side clearly with critics or supporters of Trump.

“As one of the first members of Congress to call for an independent counsel, I’ve always been about accountability and full transparency and I think it’s important for the American people to read the released memo and reach their own conclusions,” Coffman wrote in a Tweet.

Tom Ramstack

Tom Ramstack