Trump ordered the unprecedented release of classified material after a push from Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs
On September 17, President Donald Trump ordered the declassification and public release of sensitive classified documents and text messages related to the origin of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. For weeks leading up to the president’s decision, two of his informal and most-trusted cable television advisers, Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs, clamored for the release of the material. Hannity even appeared to have gotten some early notice of the move, saying just days before Trump’s decision to declassify the material, “We expect next week, we might get those unredacted FISA warrants.” Read more.
After demanding release of DOJ documents, Trump admits he's just doing what his sycophants tell him to doTrump declassifies Russia investigation docs, security be damned Senator Richard Blumenthal talks with Rachel Maddow about the threat to U.S. intelligence sources and methods posed by Donald Trump's declassifying documents in the ongoing Trump Russia investigation.
Law enforcement and national security experts are warning that President Donald Trump’s decision to selectively declassify and release portions of sensitive Justice Department documents related to the Russia probe could compromise U.S. intelligence methods and endanger the lives of sources. And in an alarming if unsurprising turn, the president said Tuesday that he hasn’t bothered to read the documents and is putting them out because “many people” -- likely including his sycophants at Fox -- told him to do so.
The White House announced on Monday night that Trump had directed federal agencies to declassify and release documents related to the Russia probe, including portions of the federal warrant used to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, text messages from senior Justice Department and FBI officials, and FBI reports of interviews with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr related to the Russia investigation.
Experts quickly pointed out that Trump’s move was extraordinary, unprecedented, and dangerous. Some warned that the president’s direct involvement in an investigation that involves his administration and that he constantly describes as a “witch hunt” has dire implications for the rule of law. Others emphasized that releasing portions of the unredacted FISA application, which details investigative sources and methods, would be crossing a “red line” that “could not only compromise such information, but risk the US's relationship with its partners in the intelligence community.”
But in an interview conducted Tuesday by The Hill’s John Solomon and Buck Sexton, Trump admitted that he did not review the documents in question and soberly consider the national security implications of their release. Instead, he simply took the advice of “many people” who he says have been urging him to take action, doing so because he thought the release would benefit him politically by delegitimizing special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. From The Hill’s write-up of the interview:
Trump said he had not read the documents he ordered declassified but said he expected to show they would prove the FBI case started as a political “hoax.”“I have had many people ask me to release them. Not that I didn’t like the idea but I wanted to wait, I wanted to see where it was all going,” he said.In the end, he said, his goal was to let the public decide by seeing the documents that have been kept secret for more than two years. “All I want to do is be transparent,” he said.
The article provides no indication that Solomon and Sexton sought to determine which parties influenced Trump. But obvious culprits include the Fox pundits he watches for hours each day. (UPDATE: The Hill's transcript of the interview shows that Trump says he has "watched commentators that I respect begging the president of the United States to release" the documents, specifically referencing Fox personalities "the great Lou Dobbs, the great Sean Hannity, [and] the wonderful great Jeanie Pirro.")
The president frequently tweets criticism of the Justice Department’s handling of the Russia investigation-- and specifically the Page FISA warrant and Ohr's role in the probe -- in response to commentary he sees on Fox.
Schiff reacts to Trump order to release Russia documents In an unprecedented move, Trump ordered the FBI and DOJ to release classified information about the ongoing Russia probe. Top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, tells Lawrence that this helps Trump's own defense and the FBI needs to stand up and say no to Trump.
Post a Comment