Friday, 19 October, 2018

Trump orders to declassify documents related to Russian Federation probe

Trump declassifies documents related to Russia probe Trump Orders Declassification of Carter Page FBI Documents
Faye Gross | 21 September, 2018, 16:01

Trump Jr. and the president have downplayed the meeting, saying it was a waste of time and didn't amount to anything.

The move comes as Trump continues his efforts to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's probe. These previously released documents are expected to have fewer redactions and documents that have not been previously released will be redacted and sent to the White House counsel for approval.

Ohr was also one of the senior officials whose text messages were ordered released by Trump on Monday. "Big stuff!" Trump wrote on his Twitter account early Tuesday.

In comments later at the White House, the president said he wants "total transparency", returning to his usual refrain that the Russian Federation investigation is a "witch hunt". If I thought it was likely I'd be there no question.

After months of requests, President Trump declassified a number of FISA court documents late Monday afternoon and directed the relevant government agencies to release them to the public.

The move was confirmed in a statement from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The disclosures were unprecedented given that surveillance warrants obtained from the secret court are highly classified and are not meant to be publicly disclosed, including to defendants preparing for or awaiting trial.

Urged on by a small group of House Republicans, the president on Monday ordered the public release of any Russian Federation investigation-related text messages of several FBI and Justice Department officials, including former FBI Director James Comey and former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. His communications were monitored for almost a year starting in October 2016.

Kim Wants New Summit With Trump, Moon Says After Visiting North Korea
The Korean summit comes as the USA effort to get North Korea to shut down its nuclear weapons program has met with mixed results. Moon left early in the morning from Paekhwawon guest house and was escorted by Kim Yong Nam, head of North Korea's parliament.


Experts say the president's authority to unilaterally declassify the records is well-established, though that doesn't make it less unusual.

Christopher Steele, a former British M16 agent was initially paid by a GOP group to collect opposition research on Trump during the primaries and the research was later bought by lawyers working for the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign. His Democrat-funded research into Trump ties to Russian Federation was included in the FISA applications and later compiled into a dossier that was published in January 2017.

The documents to be declassified also include 12 Federal Bureau of Investigation reports on interviews with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and all Federal Bureau of Investigation reports of interviews prepared in connection with all other applications to surveil Carter Page.

The most high profile documents that will be revealed from this move include the FISA warrant renewal application against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page (as well as hundreds of other pages of applications), and text messages from controversial figures such as Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr and James Comey.

"I believe that he will tell the truth, and, if he tells the truth, no problem", Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to North and SC to review storm damage.

And the No. 3 Republican in the House, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, tweeted that Trump made the right call.

House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam Schiff (CA) says Donald Trump's new declassification order crosses the line as a "clear abuse of power". Nunes said the process of releasing the FISA is "very, very simple" given that Trump has the authority to declassify any documents he wants.

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