Trump orders more Russia-related probe documents to be declassified

Trump declassifies documents related to Russia probe

President Donald Trump ordered the Justice Department to declassify documents related to the Russian Federation investigation on Monday.

The first point was that they were shocked by the president's order, which makes little sense since he has been vowing to declassify the documents for months.

Trump's decision alarmed national security experts, who cautioned that the declassification of some of the material Trump wants released could endanger the lives of confidential sources and harm the US's relationship with its foreign allies. It asking that specific documents be made public should indicate those documents are central to determining whether the president colluded with Russian Federation or whether the Obama administration sought to undermine Trump by concocting investigations.

He also called for the release, without redaction, of all text messages from Ohr, former FBI director James Comey, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, and FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

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 revocation of Brennan's clearance and the release by the White House of the names of a number of other individuals in federal law enforcement or the intelligence community whose clearances might also be in jeopardy occurred as prosecutors were wrapping up the presentation of their case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and as former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman was on a media tour promoting a new book critical of Trump and his administration. She is slated to testify later this week before the House Judiciary Committee.

Even with all that, "officials remained hopeful Tuesday that the White House would allow the declassification review to go forward, even as they expressed private outrage that Trump and his allies in Congress were seeking to disclose secret information for what appeared to be purely political purposes".

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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.

The White House on Monday evening announced that Trump would declassify a portion of a secret surveillance warrant application and also direct the Justice Department to release text messages and documents involving several top Justice Department and FBI officials whom he has attacked over the a year ago, including former FBI Director James Comey.

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, or FISA, to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in 2016. Democrats later countered with their own memo. Parts of that surveillance application were released in July, but much was held back for national security reasons.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) who, on Tuesday was assisting with Hurricane Florence relief efforts in North Carolina, told that President Trump's decision to declassify the documents was a bold and necessary move to uncovering the truth of what happened during the Russian Federation probe.

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

But California Congressman Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called the move a "clear abuse of power".

This story was reported by The Associated Press.

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