President Trump's order to declassify a slew of documents Monday regarding the FBI's warrant to spy on an American citizen and the bureau's handling of the investigation into alleged collusion between Trump and Russian Federation is being hailed by Republican lawmakers as a major step in "transparency".
Trump also ordered the Justice Department and FBI to publicly release in full all text messages related to the Russia investigation from former FBI director James Comey, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, former lead Russia investigators and disgraced lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and Ohr, who was demoted from his top post at the Justice Department in December amid questions about his involvement in the Russia probe. "If I were a Russian with information useful to the United States, Trump's order would make me more nervous than before about my identity being kept secret, and thus less likely to share what I have with the U.S".
"President Trump has intervened again in a pending investigation by ordering the selective disclosure of classified materials he believes to be helpful to his defense", tweeted Democrat Adam Schiff.
House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise echoed Graham's praise, saying that Mr. Trump "made the right call", adding that "Americans deserve the truth about these egregious actions by government officials".
"It's a hoax", Trump said, "beyond a witch hunt".
"I wrote this book because the president's attacks on me symbolize his destructive effect on the country as a whole", McCabe said in a statement. On Fox New's Sean Hannity show Page said it was "so incredibly stupid to begin with".More news: Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation before testifying: Lawyer
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The president also did not order the declassification of a subsequent part of the document that details information Page provided to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during an earlier interview, or sections that go over Russia's attempts to recruit New York City residents as intelligence assets.
Despite the president's decision to declassify the documents, it is not clear when they will be made public.
Ohr was also one of the senior officials whose text messages were ordered released by Trump on Monday.
"The applications routinely will contain critically sensitive details about the methods and means by which intelligence investigations gather information, including the identities of sources who may well be endangered if their identity becomes public and who certainly will be dis-incentivized from future cooperation as well", said Bobby Chesney, a national security law professor at the University of Texas. They're less willing to provide information. Democrats weeks later released their own memo.
According to the statement, Trump declassified 21 pages of the 101-page June 2017 application to renew a warrant obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in 2016.
There is no set timeline or format for the release of the materials at this time. Page's communications were monitored for almost a year starting in October 2016.