Trump orders more Russia-related probe documents to be declassified


Mr. Trump also directed the Department of Justice to release FBI reports about Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department attorney, and the unredacted text messages of former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Ohr.

This is a developing story. About 30 members of Congress of both parties have had access to FISA applications related to the investigation. That is because the inspector general discovered the two, who were involved in both the Russian Federation investigation and the probe of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, were exchanging anti-Trump sentiments, and their communications were eventually turned over to Congress and released publicly. Ohr's wife, Nellie, was employed by Fusion GPS at the time.

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.

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 American firebrand also told the DOJ to release reports about its interview with official Bruce Ohr.

Trump argues, wrongly, that the investigation began based on the information gathered by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who created a so-called dossier.

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But one source familiar with the process, speaking on condition of anonymity, said neither the Justice Department nor the Federal Bureau of Investigation had any idea how the declassification process was supposed to work in this case - suggesting Trump's order had taken them by surprise.

While it's known that former Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, and his drunken rant about Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton in London in May 2016 are the circumstances that prompted the launch of the Russia probe, Trump has maintained that the contents of the dossier ignited the inquiry.

However, details to date have largely confirmed that investigatory agencies conformed to previous standards before the FISA court, including identifying any bias in sources of information on which a surveillance application relies. "We're on the verge of having the president do more declassification".

Another Republican, North Carolina Representative Mark Meadows tweeted, "Transparency wins".

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 Manafort's recent guilty plea and cooperation agreement with Mueller.

The White House said Trump's decision was made in the name of "transparency". He said Mr. Trump cares "nothing about the country and everything about his narrow self-interest". His communications were monitored for almost a year starting in October 2016. "There will be no sources and methods being exposed here but what will be disclosed, the American people will find out that there was no basis for these FISA warrants", he said.