Unchained: Trump says he’ll declassify FBI and FISA-related documents now that Mueller probe is done

[sharenow]

With the end of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, President Donald Trump said he plans “at the right time” to declassify FBI- and FISA-related documents.

The president noted that he “absolutely” intends to release the full and unredacted Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants and documents that were used in the FBI probe of his 2016 presidential campaign, discussing his plans  on Fox News’ “Hannity” Wednesday.

“I do, I have plans to declassify and release. I have plans to absolutely release,” Trump said, explaining that he had wanted to do so before but was advised against it by his legal team.

“I have some very talented people working for me, lawyers, and they really didn’t want me to do it early on,” he explained. “A lot of people wanted me to do it a long time ago. I’m glad I didn’t do it. We got a great result without having to do it, but we will. One of the reasons that my lawyers didn’t want me to do it, is they said, if I do it, they’ll call it a form of obstruction.”

Previously released, redacted versions of FISA documents showed that they were obtained by the FBI using unverified documents in the infamous dossier produced by former British spy, Christopher Steele. The dossier was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee and the FISA warrants were obtained to surveil Trump aide Carter Page.

Trump had planned to release the related documents last year which included, according to a September 2018 statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, “the following materials: 1. pages 10–12 and 17–34 of the June 2017 application to the FISA court in the matter of Carter W. Page; 2. all FBI reports of interviews with Bruce G. Ohr prepared in connection with the Russia investigation; and 3. all FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with all Carter Page FISA applications.”

The president then backtracked, revealing that his lawyers advised him that releasing the documents ” may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe.”

Page, who was never charged with any wrongdoing, is currently suing the DNC for defamation.

“So frankly, I thought it would be better if we held it to the end,” Trump told Hannity Wednesday. “No, but at the right time, we will be absolutely releasing it. I did the right thing by not doing it so far.”

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[sharenow]
Frieda Powers

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