In a move that is sure to please Republicans, Trump announced Monday that he will declassify highly sensitive documents and text messages related to the Russia investigation.
Since Mueller’s probe began, Trump and his conservative cronies have been calling it a “witch hunt” saying that there is no collusion on the part of the president. Trump most certainly believes that the release of these classified documents will prove that the investigation into his actions during the 2016 presidential election is full of political bias against him.
According to The Hill:
‘Under the order, classified parts of a surveillance application that allowed the FBI to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page will become public in addition to “all text messages relating to the Russia investigation” from former FBI Director James Comey and several other top federal officials.
The documents are central to Republican charges that the FBI exhibited bias in an investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton email and in its decision to begin a probe into Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election.
Republicans have zeroed in on two former FBI officials, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who exchanged text messages critical of Trump before the election. Strzok, who was removed from the Russia investigation after an internal probe revealed the messages, was fired by the Justice Department in August.
Trump’s order Monday covers text messages exchanged by Strzok and Lisa Page, who is not related to Carter Page.’
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday:
‘When the President issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House Counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America’s national security interests.’
As we said, this move will definitely please conservatives trying to prove that Mueller’s investigation is plagued with political bias, but the reality is that this is likely to cause undue tension with law enforcement as this is surely an attempt by Trump and Republicans to interfere with an ongoing investigation.
The announcement of this document declassification was also pretty convenient, considering all of the headlines regarding Brett Kavanaugh and his sexual harassment allegations. Most likely, our so-called “president” is trying to distract us from that ongoing scandal and get us to focus on this news of sensitive documents going public.
David Kris, who formerly served under Presidents Bush and Obama, called this move by Trump “unprecedented” and “off the charts, saying:
‘And all of this is happening in an investigation where the president is personally involved — which means at a minimum he is operating at a conflict of interest. It is off the charts for all those reasons.’
Top Democrat on the WH Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, said last week that the president does not respect what the FBI and the Justice Department call “redlines” with the FISA warrant, and that he’s clearly crossing those “redlines.” He also stated:
‘It is clear that our majority doesn’t care whether they burn people or burn sources of information. As long as they can serve the president that’s all they care about. That’s a terrible priority and one that has long-term repercussions.’
Whatever Trump’s reasoning is with declassifying these documents, he might just be shooting himself in the foot. He’s already on thin ice as it is, with his interference with Mueller’s investigation and with Manafort accepting a plea deal just this past Friday, this act today may come back to bite him. Let’s hope that it does.
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