Donald Trump declassifies Russian Federation investigation documents to back his 'witch hunt' claims

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

U.S. President Donald Trump is declassifying a trove of documents related to the early days of the FBI's Russian Federation investigation, including portions of a secret surveillance warrant and former FBI director James Comey's text messages.

Trump also ordered that FBI interviews with Bruce Ohr be released surrounding the ongoing Russian Federation investigation as well as all text messages relating to the Russian Federation investigation from former FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

"Objective people" looking at the documents used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page will quickly conclude the application "was not an honest one", Rep. Pete King said Wednesday.

The president also told the DOJ to declassify reports tied to its interview with official Bruce Ohr, whose wife worked at the opposition-research firm behind an infamous and unverified dossier of dirt on then-candidate Trump.

In a written statement Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump had directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Justice Department to declassify the documents "at the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency".

For months Trump's allies in Congress have worked to supply documentation to back up the president's insistence that the Russian Federation probe is a "witch hunt", while the Justice Department has fought to withhold information that might damage the ongoing probe.

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

"President Trump, in a clear abuse of power, has chose to intervene in a pending law enforcement investigation by ordering the selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team and thinks will advance a false narrative", Schiff said.

It is not clear from the statement when the declassification and release of the documents will occur.

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"We're going to see", Trump told reporters Tuesday while meeting with his Polish counterpart at the White House, repeating his allegation that the investigation itself "is a witch hunt".

Trump gave his orders at the behest of some of the most conservative members of the U.S. House, who maintain that the FBI's investigation was tainted at the start due to anti-Trump bias.

But the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee criticized Trump's move. "Trump ordered some of that still-secret material released, as well as classified reports of all Federal Bureau of Investigation interviews in connection with the application".

"The action (President Trump) has taken, to direct your agencies to selectively disclose classified information that hebelieveshe canmanipulatepubliclytounderminethe legitimacy and credibility of the Special Counsel's investigation, is a brazen abuse of power", the letter reads.

But what Manafort might have to offer Mueller about the Trump campaign is not publicly unknown, although prosecutors only dropped some charges against Manafort after hearing in advance what he had to say.

After Manafort was convicted in the August case, Trump said he had "such respect for a courageous man: because "he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal'".

In March 2017, before news of the FISA warrant became public, Carter Page sent a letter to the Senate intelligence committee saying he may have been wiretapped during the time he spent at Trump Tower for the campaign.

Though there are other instances of government officials or contractors spilling government secrets, Chesney said, "What's remarkable about this is it's the White House that's doing it".

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