Trump declassifies documents related to Russian Federation probe

WASHINGTON DC- JULY 18  U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room of the White House

WASHINGTON DC- JULY 18 U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room of the White House

According to Ms. Sanders' statement, Trump also directed the Justice Department to publicly release in full the text messages of Mr. Comey, Mr. Ohr, former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and former FBI special agent Peter Strzok that are related to the Russian Federation investigation.

"In addition, President Donald J Trump has directed the Department of Justice 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".

Various U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA, National Security Agency and FBI, have investigated him for alleged contact he had with Russian officials under U.S. sanctions.

"We want transparency and what I want is I want total transparency", Trump said in the Oval Office Tuesday. Critics of the move say the president has a clear conflict by trying to discredit an investigation in which he himself is a subject.

Additionally, the US President urged the release of text messages, sent or received by ex-FBI director James Comey, whom Trump fired a year ago.

The president also told the DOJ to declassify reports tied to its interview with official Bruce Ohr, whose wife worked at the opposition-research firm behind an infamous and unverified dossier of dirt on then-candidate Trump.

The White House said Trump made the decision for transparency purposes and after it was requested by multiple congressional committees.

However, details to date have largely confirmed that investigatory agencies conformed to previous standards before the FISA court, including identifying any bias in sources of information on which a surveillance application relies.

Trump has consistently denied any sort of collusion with the Russians, as well as claims that he has tried to obstruct justice in the investigation with moves like the 2017 firing of FBI Director James Comey. According to the publisher, McCabe will describe "a series of troubling, contradictory, and often weird conversations" with Trump and other high officials that led him to believe the "actions of this President and his administration undermine the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the entire intelligence community" and threaten the general public. Democrats later countered with their own memo.

According to the statement, Trump declassified 21 pages of the 101-page June 2017 application to renew a warrant obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in 2016.

The other 18 pages appear to relate to information the government submitted that came from ex-British spy Christopher Steele before the presidential election. It was signed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, and the top Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees, Adam Schiff and Mark Warner. The Department of Justice released a redacted version of the FISA earlier this year, but lawmakers said it was not enough to show the American people what had actually taken place.

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

Schiff called the president's move a "clear abuse of power" meant to "intervene in a pending law enforcement investigation by ordering the selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team and thinks will advance a false narrative". His ouster came as a report from the Department of Justice's inspector general faulted him for misleading investigators looking in to the leak of information for a 2016 Wall Street Journal story about the FBI's probe into the Clinton Foundation.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.