Trump declassifies documents related to Russian Federation probe

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White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the move, saying the Commander-in-Chief instructed the DOJ and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to release the material "at the request of a number of committees of Congress and for reasons of transparency".

President Donald Trump on Monday directed the Justice Department to declassify and release the text messages of former FBI Director James Comey and others about the investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

President Trump says he'll release Russian Federation investigation documents in the interest of "transparency", but former DoJ and intel community officials say sensitive information will be imperiled.

Trump and other Republicans accused McCabe, a lifelong Republican, of political bias and conflicts in his oversight of the Clinton investigation.

"The President is potentially risking the lives of our patriots by compromising sources and methods, all so he can advance falsehoods and false narratives that distract from the truth of the Trump-Russia scandal", she added.

"It's a hoax", Trump said, "beyond a witch hunt".

He also highlighted a message from Strzok to Page, proposing to "lock in" an investigation right after Comey was sacked from the FBI.

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The document dump escalates the White House attack on the Justice Department only days after Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with the special counsel investigation. Critics of the move say the president has a clear conflict by trying to discredit an investigation in which he himself is a subject. He also asked for the publication of "all Federal Bureau of Investigation reports of interviews prepared in connection" with applications to the court relating to Page.

The American firebrand also told the DOJ to release reports about its interview with official Bruce Ohr.

Fox News contributor and former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) said on Tuesday that unless both parties come up with a specific name to redact from the documents soon, "the clock is ticking" on their release. They're less willing to provide information.

According to Sanders' statement, Trump also directed the Justice Department to publicly release in full the text messages of Comey, Ohr, former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and former FBI special agent Peter Strzok that are related to the Russian Federation investigation. Democrats weeks later released their own memo.

The announcement was made in a statement, which was distributed to reporters and published on the White House website as the US President was speaking at a Hispanic Heritage Month event.

"It is especially unprecedented considering that the FISAs have already gone through declassification review and the president is overruling the judgments of his subordinates to require expanded disclosure".

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