Trump: Declassified Russia probe papers expose 'bad things'
President Donald Trump declassified a trove of documents related to the early days of the FBI's Russia investigation, including a portion of a secret surveillance warrant application and former FBI Director James Comey's text messages.
Trump made the extraordinary move Monday in response to calls from his allies in Congress who say they believe the Russia investigation was tainted by anti-Trump bias within the ranks of the FBI and the Justice Department. It also came as Trump continued his efforts to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's probe after the guilty plea of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and amid the ongoing grand jury investigation into a long-time associate, Roger Stone.
Trump's decision will result in the release of text messages and documents involving several top Justice Department and FBI officials who Trump has repeatedly attacked over the last year.
The president tweeted Tuesday on the move, quoting a supportive congressman and adding: "Really bad things were happening, but they are now being exposed. Big stuff!"
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Trump's decision in a written statement, saying the president had directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Justice Department to declassify the documents "at the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency." It was unclear how soon the documents would be released.
In statements Monday evening, the Justice Department and the office of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said they are working together to comply with Trump's order, which triggers a declassification review by various agencies "to seek to ensure the safety of America's national security interests." That review is ongoing.