Thursday, 21 February, 2019

Trump Orders DOJ To Declassify Multiple Russia Documents

Melinda Barton | 19 September, 2018, 21:47

Political reaction was swift and divided across party lines following the president's order to declassify several documents related to the government's Russian Federation investigation, including pages of the FISA application to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

He also commanded the department to release the investigation-related text messages of former Justice Department and FBI officials who he has frequently criticized: former FBI director James Comey, former deputy director Andrew McCabe, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and former Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.

Ohr is a former high-ranking DOJ official who met repeatedly with British spy Christopher Steele, author of the notorious "Trump dossier" funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign through the opposition research firm Fusion GPS.

President Donald Trump ordered that FBI documents and text messages related to the Russian Federation investigation be declassified and released publicly.

On Monday, President Donald Trump's administration released a statement demanding the Department of Justice release all documents pertaining to the Russia Investigation.

"As long as he tells the truth, it's 100 percent", Trump said, before departing the White House to visit storm-ravaged North and SC. "With respect to some of these materials, I have been previously informed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department that they would consider their release a red line that must not be crossed as they may compromise sources and methods".

However, Republicans have called on Trump to release documents related to the Robert Mueller's probe for weeks, despite not knowing what the material actually contains.

As for the president's order Tuesday, Meadows said, "declassifying the documents is the only true way for the American people to understand the elevation of concern that members have had for months". The order was issued under what is known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is commonly referred to in national security circles as FISA.

Others warn the consequences are likely to be far reaching, not because of the information in the declassified documents but because of the sources and methods that may be exposed.

He also highlighted a message from Strzok to Page, proposing to "lock in" an investigation right after Comey was sacked from the FBI. They're less willing to provide information.

"With the walls clearly closing in on him, President Trump is lashing out with this extraordinarily reckless and irresponsible release of classified information in a desperate attempt to distract from the seven guilty pleas and the mounting evidence of multiple criminal enterprises among his closest advisors", they said.

Trumpy ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, meanwhile commended the president, saying he completely supported House Republican efforts to declassify the FISA warrants.