Published: Wed, September 19, 2018

Trump Orders DOJ To Declassify Multiple Russia Documents

Trump Orders DOJ To Declassify Multiple Russia Documents

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the move, saying the Commander-in-Chief instructed the DOJ and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to release the material "at the request of a number of committees of Congress and for reasons of transparency".

The President on Monday directed the DOJ and the ODNI to initiate the "immediate declassification" of selective portions of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application on former Trump foreign policy campaign aide Carter Page, as well as "all Federal Bureau of Investigation reports of interviews" prepared in connection with the FISA applications, which are normally closely guarded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI earlier released 412 heavily redacted pages of surveillance applications and court orders related to Page.

Trump commented on the investigation on Twitter on Monday, citing a Fox News report about Page's testimony that there was no evidence of collusion before the Mueller appointment.

Democrats say that Trump and his allies are politicising a law enforcement investigation in order to protect the White House.

But leading Democrats on the Senate and House Intelligence Committees panned Trump's decision to declassify "selective" pieces of information that, without broader context, could undermine public faith in the ongoing special counsel investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign's possible ties to Russian Federation and whether the president has obstructed that investigation. "Big stuff!" Trump tweeted this morning.

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.

Questions also continue to swirl around the FBI's alleged abuse of the FISA court to obtain multiple warrants on Page. Ohr had conversations with the author of a controversial dossier that claims the Trump campaign had ties to Russian Federation.

It's not yet clear when and how the declassified documents and texts will be released. Gaetz, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, added that he looks "forward to the forthcoming release of these documents, and reviewing them closely".

"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.

"Americans deserve the truth about these egregious actions by government officials", Representative Scalise said.

"They're having a more hard time working with the public because the public has lost trust in the FBI", Ringel said.

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY, the ranking Democrats on the House Oversight and Judiciary committees, said in a statement that Trump's actions were a "direct and frantic response" to Manafort's recent guilty plea and cooperation agreement with Mueller.

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