Published: Wed, September 19, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump orders release of classified documents in Russian Federation investigation

Trump orders release of classified documents in Russian Federation investigation

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.

Other materials covered by the order include FBI interviews of a senior Justice Department official and text messages of senior FBI leaders, including fired Director James Comey, involved in the investigation.

Mr Ohr's wife Nellie worked for the opposition research firm that commissioned the creation of the Steele dossier, which contains damaging and unverified claims about Trump.

The move was confirmed in a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

The declassification decision and order for public release of the documents was quickly praised by Trump allies in Congress and attacked by Democrats. "We applaud President Trump's boldness for taking this step and we encourage the administration to expeditiously release the documents".

The FBI and DOJ feel as though the release of these documents will put their sources and methods at risk.

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Trump made a similar move in February when the White House, over the objections of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and intelligence community, cleared the way for the Republican-led House intelligence committee to release a partisan memo about the surveillance warrant on Page. Like the president, they have accused the Justice Department of hiding information they say would be damaging to special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian interference. It was an application to the highly secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which grants secret national security surveillance warrants.

Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Mark Meadows added that with the president's action, "transparency wins".

In morning tweets apparently quoting from a television appearance by Representative Peter King, a New York Republican, Trump wrote, "What will be disclosed is that there was no basis for these FISA Warrants, that the important information was kept from the court, there's going to be a disproportionate influence of the (Fake) Dossier".

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY, the ranking Democrats on the House Oversight and Judiciary committees, said in a statement that Trump's actions were a "direct and frantic response" to Mr. Manafort's recent guilty plea and cooperation agreement with Mr. Mueller. -Calif., the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said he had been told the release of these materials could compromise intelligence sources and methods.

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There is no set timeline or format for the release of the materials at this time.

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