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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Monday, September 17, 2018
Trump ORDERS Feds to DECLASSIFY Key FISA Documents, TEXT Messages In FBI Russia Probe
President Trump Monday ordered the declassification of several key documents related to the FBI's probe of Russian actions during the 2016 presidential election, including 21 pages of an application for a renewed surveillance warrant against former campaign aide Carter Page, and text messages from disgraced FBI figures Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump had ordered the documents released "[a]t the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency."
The documents to be declassified also include 12 FBI reports on interviews with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and all FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with all other applications to surveil Carter Page.
Trump also ordered the Justice Department to release text messages from a number of the key players in the Russia investigation "without redaction" -- including Ohr, Strzok, Lisa Page, former FBI Director James Comey, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
It was not immediately clear when or how the documents would be released. Congressional sources told Fox News that House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., does not know how soon he will get the documents, but said Trump's order covers "pretty much everything that he wanted ... and the text messages are a bonus."
Earlier this month, 12 Republican members of Congress publicly asked the president to declassify the June 2017 application for a warrant against Page as well as the FBI reports of interviews with Ohr, known in bureaucratic parlance as "Form 302s."
On Sunday, Nunes told Fox Business Network that witness interview transcripts and other documents from that committee's now-concluded Russia investigation should be made public before November's midterm elections.
"If the president wants the American people to really understand just how broad and invasive this investigation has been to many Americans and how unfair it has been, he has no choice but to declassify," Nunes said on FBN's "Sunday Morning Futures."
House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said last week that it would be "beneficial" for Americans to see those documents.
Fox News' Jake Gibson and John Roberts contributed to this report.