Trump orders declassification of Russian Federation probe documents

Pauline Gross
September 21, 2018

When asked Tuesday whether he would declassify other documents relating to the Russian Federation investigation Trump only responded: "We're gonna see".

It is not yet known when the government will release the documents.

A USA intelligence official expressed concern that Trump's move could reveal the identity of intelligence or law enforcement agencies' confidential sources, making it more hard to recruit additional sources, regardless of the subject matter.

The Christopher Steele "dossier", which contains salacious claims about President Trump and his ties to Russia, was reportedly stuck in a Federal Bureau of Investigation field office in NY for several weeks in July 2016, during the same time period that officials in Washington, D.C. had already begun looking into Trump campaign associates' ties to Russia, ABC News reported.

But what Manafort might have to offer Mueller about the Trump campaign is not publicly unknown, although prosecutors only dropped some charges against Manafort after hearing in advance what he had to say.

The most high profile documents that will be revealed from this move include the FISA warrant renewal application against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page (as well as hundreds of other pages of applications), and text messages from controversial figures such as Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr and James Comey. The dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele and funded by Democrats, accuses Page of meeting secretly in Moscow in July 2016 with two Kremlin insiders.

The president has continued to wage a public-relations war on Mueller, casting his investigation into Russian election interference and possible coordination with Trump associates as a politically motivated witch hunt.

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Trump told The Hill website Tuesday that he hasn't read the documents he ordered declassified.

The White House confirmed Trump's decision to declassify the documents in a statement, saying the president issued the directive to the Justice Department and Director of National Intelligence "at the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency".

Lawmakers call on President Trump to declassify previously redacted sections of FISA applications; Carter Page shares his perspective on the Russian Federation investigation on 'Justice with Judge Jeanine'. And later that same month, a countermemo by Democrats on the same committee was declassified and released in redacted form.

The Justice Department says it's begun complying with the order, though it's not clear when the documents might be released.

The applications are detailed enough to convince a court that surveillance is appropriate, Kris said, so concern that information from them could be disclosed could "strain the system". It was signed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, and the top Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees, Adam Schiff and Mark Warner.

"Americans deserve the truth about these egregious actions by government officials", Representative Scalise said. But this is the first time a president has released information about an ongoing investigation into members of his campaign and administration over the objections of intelligence officials. "They were recycling old information". The FBI also expressed "medium confidence" in Steele's report, according to an internal review of the intelligence.

Other reports by GizPress

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