President Donald Trump said that he has “fully authorized the total declassification” of all documents related to the “Russian collusion” investigation into the Trump campaign and Hillary Clinton’s alleged misuse of her private email server.
The move came on Tuesday night. Later the same night, the Department of Justice announced a press conference for 11am, Wednesday.
According to the DOJ, the press conference has to do with a “matter of national security,” though it is unclear if the two announcements are related.
For years, many on the right have called for the President to declassify documents related to the “Russian collusion” investigation.
As might be expected, those on the left and in the political establishment have decried the move.
Barack Obama’s former CIA Director, John Brennan, claimed that the move was misleading and meant to help Trump.
Brennan attacked the current Director of National Intelligence, saying, “John Ratcliffe is anything but an intelligence professional. It is appalling his selective declassification of information. It is designed to advance the political interests of Donald Trump and Republicans who are aligned with him.”
Interestingly, President Trump seemed to indicate that he had already made this order, and that unnamed actors are holding up the process:
Not one for subtlety, Trump even took a swipe at Attorney General Bill Barr for inaction on the matter:
Fox News reported late Tuesday, “Last year, the president gave Attorney General Bill Barr authority to declassify any documents related to surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016. Trump, at the time, also ordered members of the intelligence community to cooperate with Barr’s probe.”
“Allies of the president, including Republicans on Capitol Hill leading their own investigations into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, have criticized officials like FBI Director Christopher Wray and CIA Director Gina Haspel, claiming that the directors have been blocking the release of documents,” Fox News noted.
The report continued, “The president’s tweets come after Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified documents that revealed former CIA Director John Brennan briefed former President Obama on Hillary Clinton’s purported ‘plan’ to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia as ‘a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server’ ahead of the 2016 presidential election.”
The full picture of exactly who did what during the Crossfire Hurricane “Russian collusion” investigation is not yet clear.
But as they say, sunshine is the best disinfectant.
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