The public deserves to see the full record on the FBI wiretap request.
By The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board
President Trump Friday refused to declassify the Democratic memo on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA), sending it back for negotiation with the Justice Department over intelligence sources and methods. This intelligence memo feud has become a frustrating political back and forth that needs to be trumped with more transparency.
Mr. Trump claimed in a tweet on Saturday that Democrats laid a trap with their 10-page memo, deliberately adding classified material that they knew “would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency.” That may be true, but it worked. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer quickly sent out a statement, “what is he hiding?”
Our sources say the Democratic memo—six pages longer than the GOP version released a week ago—has three main themes. The first argues for the credibility of Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the dossier that the FBI used as the bulk of its justification for a wiretap on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The second is that the FBI had good reason to surveil Mr. Page, and third is that the GOP memo is partisan.
None of this sounds like earth-shattering news since Democrats and their media echo chamber have been saying it for days. But keeping the memo classified plays into the Democratic narrative because the public can’t see the evidence behind their public claims. Let’s see what they’ve got.