President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the Justice Department to release documents and emails from four former FBI officials and one current Justice Department official as well as documents that led to the surveillance of his former aide Carter Page.
“The President has directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to provide for the immediate declassification of … the June 2017 application to the FISA court in the matter of Carter W. Page,” the White House said in a statement.
Trump also ordered the 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 all Carter Page FISA applications,” it continued.
“In addition … Trump has directed the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.”
Trump has long raged over special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties to the Trump campaign — insisting that the only collusion was done by Democrats.
And he has repeatedly accused former FBI director Comey and his deputy McCabe, Justice lawyer Ohr, former FBI agent Strzok and bureau lawyer Page of conspiring against him.
“Immediately after Comey’s firing Peter Strzok texted to his lover, Lisa Page ‘We need to Open the case we’ve been waiting on now while Andy (McCabe, also fired) is acting. Page answered, ‘We need to lock in (redacted). In a formal chargeable way. Soon.’ Wow, a conspiracy caught?” he tweeted earlier Monday in a typical post on the topic.
House Republicans have requested the material, but the Justice Department was leery of releasing the documents because of Mueller’s ongoing investigation, which resulted Friday in a guilty plea from Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
In a statement late Monday, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., called Trump’s move “a clear abuse of power” by “ordering the selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team.”