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Trump Orders Declassification Of Documents About FBI Sought By House Republicans

19 September 2018

The Justice Department, though, offered a somewhat muted initial reaction, saying in a statement that such a command from the president "triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, " and officials were "already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the President's order".

Finally, Trump directed the Justice Department to release, without redactions, text messages relating to the Russian Federation probe from former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and other officials, including FBI agent Peter Strzok.

The unredacted portion also makes clear that some of those suspicions are based on information provided by British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who had been hired by a USA firm, Fusion GPS, to do research into Trump's possible ties to Russian Federation.

The declassification decision and order for public release of the documents was quickly praised by Trump allies in Congress and attacked by Democrats. The documents were sent to the "wrong person", ABC's sources said, and the documents sat untouched in the field office for weeks, as counterintelligence officials in D.C. began looking into former Trump campaign associate Carter Page and chairman Paul Manafort.

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"Between the compromise of sources and methods, the impact on the willingness of people to cooperate, and the potential of selective release of classified material for partisan purposes, I think intelligence officials will find it very troubling". It was an application to the highly secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which grants secret national security surveillance warrants. Democrats later countered with their own memo.

He said while there's nothing to prevent Trump from releasing the bulk of the information identified by the White House, he may face some problems releasing the Russia-related text messages because of the federal Privacy Act, which governs the type of personal information the government can make public.

Another Republican, North Carolina Representative Mark Meadows tweeted, "Transparency wins". "It is increasingly clear it was the Obama Administration who politicized the DOJ/FBI, not the Trump Administration", he tweeted Monday.

In a letter Tuesday to Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, four top Democrats called Trump's action "a brazen abuse of power".

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"They're having a more hard time working with the public because the public has lost trust in the FBI", Ringel said.

Page admitted earlier this summer, Fox News reported Sunday, that investigators, led by her then-paramour Strzok, had found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin after more than nine months of investigating.

This story was reported by The Associated Press.

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Trump Orders Declassification Of Documents About FBI Sought By House Republicans