In a memo issued Thursday night, President Trump gave Attorney General William Barr permission to declassify documents regarding surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016.
According to Fox News, President Trump ordered the intelligence community to cooperate with Barr in declassifying documents related to campaign spying in 2016.
Reportedly Fox News received a copy of the memo which read, “The heads of elements of the intelligence community... and the heads of each department or agency that includes an element of the intelligence community shall promptly provide such assistance and information as the Attorney General may request in connection with that review."
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed the request in a statement posted to Twitter. Sanders wrote, “Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election.”
She continued, “The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information. Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions."
Statement on Presidential Memorandum signed tonight pic.twitter.com/wHx6l2lL5c— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) May 24, 2019
As expected, the President’s move was met with mixed reactions.
The President’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani took to Twitter to show his support for the President’s decision writing, “The President @realDonaldTrump made a wise decision to let AG Barr on the documents.”
He continued, "I don’t know for sure but I seriously doubt there’s any national security concern but some of it could affect pending investigations. I’m sure AG and DOJ will make a very appropriate decision."
The President @realDonaldTrump made a wise decision to let AG Barr on the docunents. I don’t know for sure but I seriously doubt there’s any national security concern but some of it could affect pending investigations. I’m sure AG and DOJ will make a very appropriate decision.— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) May 24, 2019
Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) appeared on Fox News where he, too, backed the President’s decision. Graham told the Fox News team that the release of the coming documents is “long overdue.” Graham also asserted that the release of the documents would also reveal the character of and motivations behind those in the Democratic party that helmed the Russian collusion investigation. He said, “You're gonna find out the mentality of the people investigating the president. You're gonna find out exactly what they did, you're gonna find out [George] Papadopoulos was not working with the Russians. They knew early on he had no contacts with the Russians.” Senator Graham then added that “not one Democrat will give a damn” about what the documents say.
Others opposed the President’s decision, some going as far as to say releasing the documents is political warfare.
U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said the move was an attempt to "weaponize law enforcement and classified information."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-MD) said in a news conference that the move indicated that President is engaging in a cover-up.
At the time of this writing, there is no timeline for if or when the documents will be released to the general public.
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