By Chuck Ross –
President Donald Trump said Tuesday he has authorized the declassification of all intelligence documents related to what he called the “Russia hoax,” though he did not say what information he has approved for disclosure.
“I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions! https://t.co/GgnHh9GOiq
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020
Trump has said multiple times during his presidency that he authorized declassification of Russia-related documents only to backtrack later. But with just 28 days until the election, Republicans have grown anxious that information about FBI and CIA intelligence-gathering activities related to the Trump campaign will never see the light of day.
Earlier on Tuesday, John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, released two CIA memos that showed the spy agency obtained evidence in July 2016 that Russian intelligence operatives may have had intelligence showing that Hillary Clinton personally approved a plan to link Trump to Russia’s hack of the DNC.
Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, said Monday that Trump had tasked him with starting the process of declassifying documents.
Republicans in the House and Senate have requested the release of a slew of FBI documents related to the bureau’s counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign, known as Crossfire Hurricane.
Documents declassified in recent months have revealed that the FBI received evidence in January and February 2017 that Russian intelligence officers may have fed disinformation to Christopher Steele, the author of the anti-Trump dossier.
On Sunday, Rep. Devin Nunes urged the administration to declassify more documents and called for the shutdown of the intelligence agencies if they refused to release the information. Nunes called for the release of FBI memos from interviews conducted in February and May 2017 with Igor Danchenko, the primary source for Steele.
Danchenko cast doubt on some of the allegations Steele made in the dossier. The FBI relied heavily on the document to obtain warrants to surveil Carter Page. The Justice Department’s inspector general criticized the FBI for failing to inform the court that grants surveillance warrants about information that undercut the credibility of Steele’s information.
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