Trump orders 'immediate' declassification of FISA documents, DOJ-FBI texts

Lester Mason
September 19, 2018

The president also made the decision as he dealt with a separate firestorm surrounding his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, and a sexual assault allegation.

Trump's directive caught intelligence agencies off-guard, and it remained unclear Monday whether national security professionals would have any opportunity to challenge any aspect of the decision. The president took note of the congressman's TV hit, tweeting "Really bad things were happening, but they are now being exposed".

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. Those are all people Trump has criticized as out to get him. Democrats weeks later released their own memo.

U.S. President Donald Trump is raising the possibility he could order the declassification of more documents related to the investigation into Russia's election meddling.

There is no set timeline or format for the release of the materials at this time.

Questions also continue to swirl around the FBI's alleged abuse of the FISA court to obtain multiple warrants on Page. His communications were monitored for almost a year starting in October 2016.

As president, Trump has the power to declassify any information he thinks is in the public interest.

Trump argues, wrongly, that the investigation began based on the information gathered by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who created a so-called dossier.

On Monday President Trump ordered intelligence agencies to declassify a mountain of Russian Federation documents and texts, including documents regarding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant on Carter Page and texts from key players in the Russian Federation investigation.

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. Gaetz, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, added that he looks "forward to the forthcoming release of these documents, and reviewing them closely".

"Americans deserve the truth about these egregious actions by government officials", Steve Scalise, the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives tweeted late Monday.

Though there are other instances of government officials or contractors spilling government secrets, Chesney said, "What's remarkable about this is it's the White House that's doing it".

Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, sharply criticised Trump.

Schiff said that Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOJ officials have previously told him they would consider declassification of such materials "a red line that must not be crossed" because they might compromise "sources and methods".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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