President Trump has directed the Justice Department and the director of national intelligence to immediately declassify documents related to the Obama administration's handling of claims of Trump campaign collusion with Russian Federation during the 2016 election.
President Donald Trump on Monday directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice to declassify a number of documents related to the Russian Federation investigation.
On Monday, he additionally called for the release, without redactions, of all text messages by several of those individuals, including Comey, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, DOJ official Bruce Ohr, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, and FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
An "incredibly unsafe move" AP Photo/Pavel GolovkinCarter Page, a former foreign policy adviser of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, speaks at a news conference at RIA Novosti news agency in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016.
The move was confirmed in a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
The American firebrand also told the DOJ to release reports about its interview with official Bruce Ohr.
Ohr, whose wife works for Fusion GPS, had multiple conversations with Steele about the dossier and the Russian Federation investigation.
Much is already known about the Carter Page warrant and the Strzok/Page relationship through previous texts, documents and memos, but the release should provide much more detail.
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But one source familiar with the process, speaking on condition of anonymity, said neither the Justice Department nor the Federal Bureau of Investigation had any idea how the declassification process was supposed to work in this case - suggesting Trump's order had taken them by surprise.
One of those sections appears to relate to the time period that Page worked on Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser.
He also highlighted a message from Strzok to Page, proposing to "lock in" an investigation right after Comey was sacked from the FBI.
However, Juan Williams cautioned that Trump's decision to declassify the documents could be proof of a "flailing president" who is concerned about the current political scene.
"The case should never have been allowed to be brought", Trump added.
But Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, called Trump's decision a "clear abuse of power" meant to advance a "false narrative" to help in his defense from Mueller's probe.