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Trump orders Justice Dept

21 September 2018

The president ordered the Department of Justice and director of National Intelligence to declassify documents related to a search warrant on Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, as well as interviews conducted by DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

Additionally, Trump has ordered the DOJ and the FBI to release all text messages related to the Russian Federation investigation - in unredacted form - of former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page and Ohr. Rep. Mark Meadows told Bloomberg News, "As Congress has investigated, we've continued to see more and more troubling evidence suggesting multiple senior-level Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOJ officials acted in a deeply unethical fashion during the 2016 campaign and throughout the early stages of the Trump administration".

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the decision in a statement Monday noting Trump's decision comes "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.

"Transparency wins. This is absolutely the right call from @POTUS", said Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, on Twitter.

"The President shouldn't be declassifying documents in order to undermine an investigation into his campaign or pursue vendettas against political enemies", Warner said.

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

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A US official says the declassification process ordered by the president will be a "complicated" matter.

But experts say that the decision may expose sensitive sources and methods and brush up against privacy law protections. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a statement Monday.

In the most recent case, prosecutors agreed to drop other charges stemming from his lobbying efforts for one-time Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych that predated his five-month tenure working for Trump's campaign in mid-2016 in exchange for him answering "fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly" questions about "any and all matters" Mueller's team is investigating. They're less willing to provide information.

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'". Strzok was also recently fired, and has been criticized for sending texts disparaging Trump as a presidential candidate. It also argued that it was not the dossier and the Page FISA warrant that prompted the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Russia, but rather an earlier conversation that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had with an Australian diplomat about alleged Russian dirt on Clinton.

"I was, you know, very happy with the job he did", Trump said.

The FBI earlier released in heavily redacted format 412 pages of surveillance applications and court orders related to Page.

"Americans deserve the truth about these egregious actions by government officials", Steve Scalise, the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives tweeted late Monday.

Trump orders Justice Dept