Politics

Trump Says Doj Should ‘Absolutely’ Declassify Remaining Trump-Russia Probe Records, After Durham Filing

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Former President Trump, during an exclusive interview with Fox News, said the Justice Department should “absolutely” declassify remaining records related to the original Trump-Russia probe, “especially in light” of Special Counsel John Durham’s latest filing.

“They have the declassification order,” Trump said of the Justice Department. “And they should declassify, absolutely, especially in light of what has just happened and what has just been revealed.”

Trump was referring to Durham’s Feb. 11 court filing in which he alleged “Tech Executive-1” and his associates, including a lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, “exploited” internet traffic pertaining to a “particular healthcare provider,” Trump Tower, Trump’s Central Park West apartment building, and the Executive Office of the President of the United States in order to “establish ‘an inference’ and ‘narrative’” to then bring to federal government agencies tying Trump to Russia.

Trump, in May 2019, following the completion of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, told then-Attorney General Bill Barr to begin a declassification process of records related to surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016.

Mueller’s investigation yielded no evidence of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election.

“We did declassify, and people saw them, and I think you’ll see some big stuff,” Trump told Fox News.

Trump, calling on the Justice Department to release records to the public, said there is “tremendous dishonesty and corruption.”

“They should release them,” Trump said.

A White House statement on Trump’s declassification order in 2019 said that, “at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election.”

The order gave the attorney general the “full and complete authority to declassify information” pertaining to the investigation, “in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information.”

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“Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions,” the White House statement from May 2019 read.

Trump’s comments come after Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson on Tuesday wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, saying he has “failed” to follow Trump’s order to declassify all records related to the FBI’s original Trump-Russia probe. The senators demanded that Garland “produce those records to Congress and the American people without improper redactions.”

Grassley and Johnson wrote that it is “incumbent upon the Department to determine which records are covered by the declassification directive,” and said it is “clear” from a letter Garland sent to the senators last month that “after more than one year” the DOJ “has yet to get the job done.”

“When the Department is able to (1) identify with certainty the records subject to the declassification directive; (2) confirm the records are not those that have already been reviewed by our staff; and (3) agree that no improper redactions will be placed on those records, our staff stand ready to review in camera prior to production to Congress,” they wrote. “Absent those conditions, our staff should not have to spend potentially multiple days and countless hours in the Department’s classified facility only to play a guessing game with the Department about what document may or may not be covered by the declassification directive and potentially review records that have already been produced to Congress.”

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They added: “Our oversight efforts are based on our unyielding belief that the American people deserve to know the complete truth about the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”

Grassley and Johnson also questioned Garland on what actions the Justice Department is taking to determine which records fall under the scope of Trump’s declassification directive, the number of records identified to-date, and the extent to which the identified records will be declassified.

“We request a detailed response with respect to those questions and a commitment to the aforementioned conditions no… (Read more)

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