Intel officials may propose redactions in classified Russian Federation probe files

Donald Trump

"President Trump, in a clear abuse of power, has made a decision to intervene in a pending law enforcement investigation by ordering the selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team and thinks will advance a false narrative", Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement Monday, after Trump issued his order. Meanwhile, a source familiar with the process told CNN the declassification won't happen 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".

Among the documents Trump ordered to be declassified, some have to do with a renewed surveillance warrant for Carter Page, texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and interviews with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. 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. "We applaud President Trump's boldness for taking this step and we encourage the administration to expeditiously release the documents".

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Monday said that President Donald Trump had ordered FISA application documents to be released "a$3 t the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency".

Despite the president's decision to declassify the documents, it is not clear when they will be made public.

"What I want is I want total transparency", Trump said.

Ohr is a former high-ranking DOJ official who met repeatedly with British spy Christopher Steele, author of the notorious "Trump dossier" funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign through the opposition research firm Fusion GPS.

Since The Washington Post first revealed the existence of the Page surveillance order a year ago, details of the classified court orders also have been trickling out.

According to the redacted version, three of the declassified pages involve information included in a section titled "The Russian Government's Coordinated Efforts to Influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election".

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.

Trump's supporters in Congress quickly praised the actions.

"As Congress has investigated, we've continued to see more and more troubling evidence suggesting multiple senior level Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOJ officials acted in a deeply unethical fashion during the 2016 campaign and throughout the early stages of the Trump administration", Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said.

Democrats in the House believe this is just another attempt by President Trump to selectively release documents which will strengthen his own defense in the Special Counsel investigation.



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