Published: Wed, September 19, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump orders declassification of documents in Russian investigation - White House

Trump orders declassification of documents in Russian investigation - White House

Trump spoke to The Hill a day after he ordered three sets of documents declassified, including a secret surveillance application for former campaign adviser Carter Page.

In addition, the White House wants to publicly release all text messages related to the Russian Federation investigation, without redaction, of former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former lead FBI investigator Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Ohr.

President Donald Trump is flexing his executive power to declassify secret documents in the Russian Federation investigation, an extraordinary move he says will ensure that "really bad things" at the FBI are exposed.

"President Trump has intervened again in a pending investigation by ordering the selective disclosure of classified materials he believes to be helpful to his defense", tweeted Democrat Adam Schiff.

The move, celebrated by Republicans and met with sharp resistance from Democrats, could provide the clearest look yet into what Trump has repeatedly called a "witch hunt" against him.

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Trump did not ask the DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigation to declassify subsequent portions of the document that detail Page's activities and Russian efforts to recruit him as an agent before he joined the campaign.

"This is something I am hoping that individuals of conscience are going to stop and prevent, because I am concerned this is one indication that Mr. Trump is increasingly looking for steps to take in order to further try to subvert the Mueller investigation", said Brennan.

Trump also ordered the department to declassify interviews with current DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

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"The things that have been found over the last couple of weeks about text messages back and forth are a disgrace to our nation", he said, adding: "I think it's a good thing because we should open it up for people to see". "There will be no sources and methods being exposed here but what will be disclosed, the American people will find out that there was no basis for these FISA warrants", he said.

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It was unclear how soon the documents would be released.

Other materials covered by the order include FBI interviews of a senior Justice Department official and text messages of senior FBI leaders, including fired Director James Comey, involved in the investigation.

An inspector general may be able to obtain that information during an investigation and a judge may have occasion to review it to settle an evidence dispute, but a target of an application like Page "certainly doesn't get to look at them", Chesney said.

The move was confirmed in a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. "We're on the verge of having the president do more declassification".

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