Trump Orders Declassification Of Documents In Russia Investigation

Pauline Gross
September 18, 2018

"It is a totally illegal Witch Hunt!"

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the decision in a statement Monday noting Trump's decision comes "at the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency".

The FISA process is arguably one of the most sensitive and secretive methods that the U.S. government uses when it comes to gathering foreign intelligence.

"The President shouldn't be declassifying documents in order to undermine an investigation into his campaign or pursue vendettas against political enemies", Warner said. That review is now ongoing.

The president has also called for the release of all Federal Bureau of Investigation reports of interviews linked to all FISA applications to surveil Page.

"I think this represents that even as far as May 2017, we still couldn't answer the question", Page told lawmakers during a closed-door deposition in July, according to Fox News.

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The other 18 pages appear to relate to information the government submitted that came from ex-British spy Christopher Steele before the presidential election. The FBI released a heavily redacted version of the application earlier this year, as intelligence experts maintain that sources and methods could be compromised if too much information is revealed. Ohr was then the associate deputy attorney general at the Justice Department.

Sanders added that Trump has also instructed the Justice Department "to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russian Federation investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr".

The pages that Trump ordered declassified concern Page's links to the Russian government and alleged ties to Russia's intelligence services, including his 2004-2007 residency in Russia, where he began business dealings with state-owned Gazprom. But when it does it would be the latest move by Trump and his administration to release previously secret documents at the heart of claims by the president's allies on Capitol Hill.

It is not clear from the statement when the declassification and release of the documents would occur. The documentation was characterized by the official as large, and the official also said that there is no time frame for the release.

And the No. 3 Republican in the House, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, tweeted that Trump made the right call.

Donald Trump has ordered the release of classified documents as part of his effort to discredit the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential links with his campaign team.

Other reports by GizPress

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