Trump orders more Russia-related probe documents to be declassified

Trump orders Justice Department to declassify some records related to adversaries in Russia probe

President Donald Trump is flexing his executive power to declassify secret documents in the Russian Federation investigation, an extraordinary move he says will ensure that "really bad things" at the FBI are exposed.

The documents include parts of the secret application to the court overseeing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that led to the monitoring of former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, and which ultimately resulted in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant used by the FBI to monitor short-term campaign volunteer Carter Page's communications has been at the center of the controversy since evidence surfaced during the House Intelligence Committee's investigation on Russian Federation revealed that the unverified dossier compiled by former British spy, Christopher Steele, was the main body of evidence used by the bureau to obtain the warrant.

The next paragraph reads: "Senior executives at the FBI, Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence were scrambling Tuesday to respond after being taken by surprise by a White House press release Monday directing them to release classified material they had previously determined should not be made public".

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. He distanced himself from the Trump campaign in September 2016 while under scrutiny.

The FISA court is unique, said King, as it gives "unprecedented power" to the Justice Department.

Trump has consistently said some in the FBI and Justice Department are biased and tainting the independent investigation into whether his campaign collaborated with Russian Federation to swing the 2016 election in his favor.

Burr previously broke with his House Intelligence Committee counterparts after they released a memo with details on the Page FISA.

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Democrats on those same panels have argued that declassification would be a crass political move in advance of contentious midterm congressional elections.

"These documents will reveal to the American people some of the systemic corruption and bias that took place at the highest levels of the DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigation, including using the tools of our intelligence community for partisan political ends", said Gaetz.

"When the President issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House Counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America's national security interests", the spokesperson said in a statement.

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

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".

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called Trump's "selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team" a "clear abuse of power".

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. His ouster came as a report from the Department of Justice's inspector general faulted him for misleading investigators looking in to the leak of information for a 2016 Wall Street Journal story about the FBI's probe into the Clinton Foundation.

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