Trump declassifies documents related to Russia probe

Trump Explodes – Orders Declassification and Release of Russia Probe Docs and Texts From Mueller Probe

Ex-DOJ Director Explains Why Trump's Russia Declassification Order May Put Him in Legal Jeopardy: 'There's No Exception' for the President

Trump requested the release of "all text messages relating to the Russian Federation investigation" from several former senior FBI officials, including James Comey, the former director, and Andrew McCabe, his former deputy.

Trump directed the DOJ and Office of the Director of National Intelligence to release the documents.

"Really bad things were happening, but they are now being exposed".

"It's a hoax", Trump said, "beyond a witch hunt".

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.

Trump gave his orders at the behest of some of the most conservative members of the U.S. House, who maintain that the FBI's investigation was tainted at the start due to anti-Trump bias. It was an application to the highly secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which grants secret national security surveillance warrants.

In his first on-camera comments since ordering the declassification of secret documents related to the Russian Federation investigation, President Donald Trump on Tuesday argued his move was in the interest of "total transparency" while making clear his primary target is the "terrible witch hunt". Those departments have since said they have begun a declassification review of the materials.

The FBI earlier released in heavily redacted format 412 pages of surveillance applications and court orders related to Page. Page's communications were monitored for almost a year starting in October 2016. Moscow also a few times refuted the accusations of trying to influence the course of elections in the US.

While President Trump declassifying documents "at the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency", may sound like routine presidential behavior, the directive announced by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday afternoon was actually a dramatic escalation of his attempts to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The declassification decision and order for public release of the documents was quickly praised by Trump allies in Congress and attacked by Democrats.

Another Republican, North Carolina Representative Mark Meadows tweeted, "Transparency wins".

Government lawyers have a long and successful history of pushing back in national security prosecutions to prevent the disclosure of those applications to defendants, said David Laufman, who ran the Justice Department's counterintelligence unit before launching a private law practice earlier this year.

The book, titled, "The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump", will share what a news release from publisher St. Martin's Press called "a candid account of [McCabe's] career and an impassioned defense of the FBI's agents, integrity, and independence in protecting America".

The book announcement says McCabe's job "put him in the room with the President, and many other leaders at the highest levels of this administration".

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