Trump declassifies some Russia probe reports
Washington – Moving to undermine the Russia investigation that has threatened his White House tenure, President Donald Trump moved Monday to declassify sensitive Justice Department records and personal text messages that White House allies hope will show the special counsel probe was launched from an improper foundation.
In a statement, the White House said Trump had directed the immediate declassification of about 20 pages of a June 2017 application to conduct secret surveillance of Carter Page, a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who the FBI suspected might be a Russian spy. A heavily censored version of the counterintelligence warrant was made public in July.
Trump also ordered release of all FBI reports of interviews with Bruce G. Ohr “prepared in connection with the Russia investigation” and all FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with Page’s surveillance warrant.
He also directed the Department of Justice to release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation of a series of individuals who the White House alleges have played a significant role in driving the Russia investigation that Trump calls a “witch hunt.”
In addition to Ohr, they include former FBI Director James Comey, who Trump fired in May 2017; Andrew McCabe, a former deputy director of the FBI who was fired in March only 26 hours before his scheduled retirement; Peter Strozok, a former senior FBI official who was fired in August; and Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who had exchanged texts with Strozok critical of Trump.
Ohr, a Justice Department official, met with Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer paid by Democrats during the presidential campaign to research Trump’s connections to Russia. Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS, the research firm that hired Steele.
Steele’s findings were compiled in an infamous dossier of allegations involving Trump and Russia, and law enforcement officials cited his research in their application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for the eavesdropping warrant on Page. Page has never been charged with a crime.