User avatar
By Phaedrus
#492921
Nothing stopping the release except the wish to exploit the possibilities.

From Glen Greenwald:

1. Trump can declassify anything he wants.
All classification by the U.S. government has no basis in laws passed by Congress (with one tiny exception that is irrelevant here). Rather, all classification is based on presidential executive orders, which rely on the president’s constitutional role as commander in chief of the armed forces. According to the Supreme Court, the presidential power “to classify and control access to information bearing on national security … flows primarily from the constitutional investment of power in the president.”

That means presidents can also declassify anything they chose to — for any reason or no reason — as they have done in the past. George W. Bush, under pressure in 2004, declassified the section of the 2001 presidential daily brief headlined “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” Barack Obama declassified the Justice Department memos produced during the Bush presidency on the legality of torture.

Thus if the House Intelligence Committee merely releases a version of its memo without the supporting documentation, that won’t be just because they don’t want Americans to see it – it will be because Trump doesn’t want us to see it either. Note that GOP House members are insistent that releasing the memo and the underlying source material would not remotely harm national security:

"Releasing this classified info doesn't compromise good sources & methods. It reveals the feds' reliance on bad sources & methods." — Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) January 18, 2018

So what possible justification is there for Trump to continue to conceal this alleged evidence of massive criminality from the American people by hiding it behind “classified” designations? Indeed, it is illegal to abuse classified designations to hide evidence of official criminality: so not only can Trump declassify such evidence, one could argue that he must, or at least should.

2. The House (and Senate) intelligence committees can declassify any material they possess.
According to the procedural rules of both houses of Congress, their intelligence committees can declassify material in their possession if the committee votes that such declassification would be in the public interest. It is then declassified after five days unless the president formally objects. If the president does object, the full chamber votes on the question.

It is true that – in a measure of how embarrassingly deferential Congress is to the executive branch – neither the House nor the Senate intelligence committees has ever utilized this power, so it’s impossible to know how this gambit would play out in practice. But if Trump refused to release proof of the Obama administration’s misdeeds, congressional Republicans should have a straightforward way to overrule him.

3. The Constitution protects members of Congress from prosecution for “any speech or debate in either House.”
Members of Congress have legal immunity for acts they commit as part of the legislative process. Article I, Section 6, clause 1 of the Constitution states that “for any speech or debate in either House, [Senators and Representatives] shall not be questioned in any other place.” It is this constitutional shield that protected Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska from legal consequences in 1971 when he read sections of the Pentagon Papers during a meeting of the Senate Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds, and then placed the rest of the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record.

It’s true that members could face legal consequences for ancillary acts — perhaps if they unlawfully removed the relevant material from the congressional SCIF. But they could go to the House floor and describe both the memo’s revelations and the underlying evidence for it without any fear of legal consequences.

If the memo really proves what they claim, it would seem to be their patriotic duty would compel them do this. Ordinary citizens — like Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning — have risked prison in order to expose what they believed were serious official crimes; these members of Congress can do this without any of those consequences. So what justifies their failure to do this?

4. Republicans can leak everything to the news media.
If for some reason Trump and the congressional leadership refuse to use any of the above options to vindicate themselves, a brave member of Congress could turn whistleblower and transmit the classified proof of the GOP’s claims about the memo to the news media.

Many outlets now have secure methods of sending sensitive material to them, such as Secure Drop. Those for The Intercept can be found here. (All leaking entails risks, as we describe in our manual for whistleblowers.)

So that’s that. All Americans, particularly conservatives, should ask every Republican making spectacular assertions about this memo when they will be using the above ways to conclusively demonstrate that everything they’ve said is based in rock-solid fact.

If they do not, Republicans will conclusively demonstrate something else. They will prove conclusively that all of this is about them shamelessly making claims they do not actually believe, fraudulently posturing as caring about one of the most vital, fundamental issues facing the United States: how the U.S. government uses the vast surveillance powers with which it has been vested.
User avatar
By Ryan
#492927
Oh I get it, this too is a Trump conspiracy? That is laughable. I can always tell when democrats are getting trapped in lies, Phae comes on GA and makes a post that is 15 paragraphs long explaining how its really the Republicans who are guilty.

Don't worry, the truth is surfacing day by day the net is getting wider and filled with fish. What started as a failed conspiracy to first attack Trump, then spy on Trump, later was re-purposed to impeach Trump and now is becoming the noose from which all conspirators will hang. Just wait until official charges are brought and the spineless scumbags start eating each other to secure their freedom.

I already thought Obama was the worst President in history, and nobody underestimates the Clinton's lust for power and corruption, but once this is all said and done true characters will be revealed for all to see. I noticed that Obama is once again politically active....that is because he is in fear that he is about to get caught. He's trying to figure out how he can pin it all on the Clintons.

If you listen very carefully, you can still hear the faint chants... "Lock her up...Lock her up"
User avatar
By eriknben10
#492940
From what I've read and heard they are going with door #2 stay tuned.

2. The House (and Senate) intelligence committees can declassify any material they possess.
User avatar
By eriknben10
#492941
JW wrote:The drain is getting ready to unclog and the FBI, DOJ and dems will go down the tube.


Jump on the Trump train that's the name and away go the swamp creatures down the drain. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

User avatar
By Phaedrus
#492942
eriknben10 wrote:From what I've read and heard they are going with door #2 stay tuned.

2. The House (and Senate) intelligence committees can declassify any material they possess.


I've heard it too, but why they are waiting I don't know. Let's see, do it tomorrow, or milk it for a couple more weeks. Tough choice.

I was listening to Dom Giordano today and he was not so sure about what was in it, but what I found interesting was the idea that liberals are all worried about this. This is all happening in conservative land. I don't think any of my liberal friends have even heard about it, but conservatives are being assured that liberals and Democrats are running scared. I guess we should be since we have always known that the FBI is such a left-wing organization, as is law enforcement in general. :roll:
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