Trump Orders Declassification Of Key Russia Docs, Text Messages

Trump orders public release of Russia documents

Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the president was later launched in part because of the dossier.

Trump directed the DOJ and Office of the Director of National Intelligence to release the documents. "It is increasingly clear it was the Obama Administration who politicized the DOJ/FBI, not the Trump Administration", he tweeted Monday.

The White House said in a statement that the move was in the name of "transparency". "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.

The move comes after a small group of Republicans in Congress, all staunch allies of Trump, held a news conference last week asking him to declassify the documents. Democrats criticized the effort, saying the GOP lawmakers were trying to discredit the Justice Department in an effort to protect Trump from Mueller's investigation. Democrats later countered with their own memo.

Warrants to monitor the communications of a suspected agent of a foreign power are a common tool in counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations, but they're applied for before a secret court.

"The Privacy Act is a big hurdle here unless Congress takes control of the materials and tries to release them themselves", Banks said.

"No, I'm not", Trump told reporters at the White House when asked if he was concerned what Manafort might say. His communications were monitored for almost a year starting in October 2016.

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While it's unclear what exactly will be revealed in the documents, Republicans who have been urging the president to declassify the material posit that it will be evident that the unverified dossier put together by former British spy Christopher Steele played an outsize role in the approval of surveillance warrants of Trump campaign associates.

"When the President issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House Counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America's national security interests", the statement said.

The order also applies to "all FBI reports of interviews with Bruce G. Ohr prepared in connection with the Russian Federation investigation" and "all text messages relating to the Russian Federation investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr".

Some of the documents and text messages ordered for declassification have been previously released with redactions.

"President Trump is absolutely right to declassify these documents", Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said in a statement provided to LifeZette late Monday afternoon.

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

On Sept. 13, one of the lawmakers who had requested the materials, Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, gave a speech before a conservative group in which he said Democrats had "corrupted" the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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