On Thursday evening, President Trump made the shocking move to issue a memo which would give Attorney General Bill Barr the authority to declassify documents relating to the potential illegal spying of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
In the memo, the President ordered the intelligence community to fully cooperate with the attorney general. «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.» the statement said.
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,» White House press secretary Sarah Sanders stated.
«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.»
Trump claims his campaign was the victim of «spying,» though the intelligence community has insisted it acted lawfully in following leads in the Russia investigation.
Last month, Barr ran into a buzz saw of criticism from Democratic lawmakers and media figures for testifying that “spying did occur” against the Trump campaign in 2016. But despite the backlash, Barr appeared to be referring to intelligence collection that already has been widely reported and confirmed.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page are currently the subject of a Justice Department inspector general investigation looking at potential misconduct in the issuance of those warrants. That review also reportedly is scrutinizing the role of an FBI informant who had contacts with Trump advisers in the early stages of the Russia investigation.Democrats have been very critical of the term «spying» which was used by AG Barr during a testimony.
“I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated,” Barr said in his testimony last month. “Congress is usually very concerned with intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane.”
Spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” he also noted.
This announcement by the President comes after a long couple days of battling with House Democrats who have made it clear that they want him impeached. On Wednesday, President Trump walked out of a meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she announced that her along with the House Democrats think that he is involved in a «cover up.» She also said that the President had a «temper tantrum» during the meeting which has been strongly refuted by President Trump as well as Trump administration members who were present during the meeting.
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