Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

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

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

President Trump Monday ordered the declassification of several key documents related to the FBI's probe of Russian actions during the 2016 presidential election, including an application for a renewed surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, and text messages from disgraced Federal Bureau of Investigation figures Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. They believe that the FISA court incorrectly allowed the surveillance on the basis of the material in the dossier.

Additionally, the US President urged the release of text messages, sent or received by ex-FBI director James Comey, whom Trump fired a year ago.

Strzok indicated as much in a text to Page on May 19, 2017, two days after special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed.

But leading Democrats on the Senate and House Intelligence Committees panned Trump's decision to declassify "selective" pieces of information that, without broader context, could undermine public faith in the ongoing special counsel investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign's possible ties to Russian Federation and whether the president has obstructed that investigation.

It's not yet clear when and how the declassified documents and texts will be released.

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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".

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, one of the Republicans leading the calls for declassification, tweeted his support for Trump's decision, saying, "Transparency wins".

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.

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

The American firebrand also told the DOJ to release reports about its interview with official Bruce Ohr. More texts from them, as well as Ohr and Comey, will be released unredacted.

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