With declassification, Pres. Trump preps latest Russia probe punch

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

Trump declassifies documents related to Russia probe

Trump also ordered the public release of texts messages sent by former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, as well as Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.

- The Justice Department and the FBI are working with the Director of National Intelligence to prepare new declassified versions of documents related to the Russian Federation investigation with redactions, which is part of the typical procedure, following President Donald Trump's highly unprecedented order to declassify several documents and text messages.

Various U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA, National Security Agency and FBI, have investigated him for alleged contact he had with Russian officials under U.S. sanctions.

Asked about a possible pardon for Manafort, Trump said: "I don't want to talk about it now".

"Special counsels investigate crimes", he said. "I commend President Trump for his decision to declassify numerous documents, including several redacted pages of the Carter Page FISA application and important messages relating to the Russian Federation investigation", Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said in a statement.

The documents in question are specific pages of the June 2017 FISA warrant application related to onetime Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, all FBI interview reports prepared in connection with all FISA warrant applications in connection with Page, and all FBI reports of interviews with Justice Department lawyer Bruce Ohr prepared in connection with the FBI's Russian Federation investigation.

Trump made a similar move in February when the White House, over the objections of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, cleared the way for the Republican-led House intelligence committee to release a partisan memo summarizing details from the Page warrant.

The June 2017 application was the last of four filed by the Justice Department in support of FISA court orders allowing the monitoring of Page.

The White House on Monday evening announced that Trump would declassify a portion of a secret surveillance warrant application and also direct the Justice Department to release text messages and documents involving several top Justice Department and FBI officials whom he has attacked over the previous year, including former FBI Director James Comey.

Even with all that, "officials remained hopeful Tuesday that the White House would allow the declassification review to go forward, even as they expressed private outrage that Trump and his allies in Congress were seeking to disclose secret information for what appeared to be purely political purposes". And later that same month, a countermemo by Democrats on the same committee was declassified and released in redacted form.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Monday, "the President is potentially risking the lives of our patriots by compromising sources and methods, all so he can advance falsehoods and false narratives that distract from the truth of the Trump-Russia scandal". The Department of Justice released a redacted version of the FISA earlier this year, but lawmakers said it was not enough to show the American people what had actually taken place.

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, accused Trump on Monday of a "clear abuse" of his presidential power.

"Americans deserve the truth about these egregious actions by government officials", Representative Scalise said. 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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