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Congressman Ruben Gallego

Representing the 7th District of Arizona

Intelligence and Armed Services Democrats Demand Access to Report Used to Justify Trump’s Muslim Ban

June 28, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, 11 Democrats on the House Intelligence and Armed Services Committees, led by Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), wrote to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats requesting a classified report detailing the analysis the Trump Administration used in issuing its revised travel ban covering nationals of five majority Muslim countries, North Korea and Venezuela.

President Trump has claimed that the Muslim ban was based on an “extensive” analysis of every country in the world. However, the Administration later admitted the entire document amounts to a mere 16 pages, plus a one-page attachment.

While the contents of the report were never revealed to the Supreme Court, it was used to successfully argue for the constitutionality of the policy and cited in the majority opinion.

“Given that [the report] reportedly includes an ‘extensive’ analysis of information systems and the security situation in ‘every country in the world,’ we believe that this document is of significant interest to our committees,” the group wrote. “Based on the brevity of this report and President Trump’s unwillingness to share it with the Court, we have serious concerns about the thoroughness of the Administration’s analysis and whether it was used to justify decisions that the President had already made.”

The full text of the letter is below and the signed letter can be found here.

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Dear Director Coats:  

As members of the House Intelligence and Armed Services Committees, we write to request a classified report detailing the analysis that the Trump Administration undertook before issuing its revised travel ban covering nationals of five majority Muslim countries, North Korea, and Venezuela.  While its contents were never revealed to the Supreme Court, the report was used to successfully argue for the constitutionality of this policy and was cited in the majority opinion.  Given that it reportedly includes an “extensive” analysis of information systems and the security situation in “every country in the world,” we believe that this document is of significant interest to our committees.    

In Trump v. Hawaii, the Administration asserted that the President’s travel ban resulted from an extensive analysis conducted by multiple federal agencies and that “entry restrictions” were imposed pursuant to this evaluation.  Subsequently, Chief Justice John Roberts cited this study in his majority opinion, noting that the President had acted within his legal authorities “based on his findings—following a worldwide, multi-agency review—that entry of the covered aliens would be detrimental to the national interest.” 

However, while the Administration claimed that the report in question includes an analysis of over 200 countries, it was later forced to admit that the entire document amounts to a mere 16 pages plus a one-page attachment.  Based on the brevity of this report and President Trump’s unwillingness to share it with the Court, we have serious concerns about the thoroughness of the Administration’s analysis and whether it was used to justify decisions that the President had already made. 

This analysis is clearly relevant to our responsibility to conduct oversight of national security policy. Please provide the report in classified or unclassified form by August 1st. 

Thank you for your prompt attention to this request. 

Sincerely,

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ)

Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD)

Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA)

Rep. Mark Veasey (D-TX)

Rep. Don McEachin (D-VA)

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA)

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX)

Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT)

Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA)

Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA)

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI)

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