Trump directs AG Barr to declassify data on what prompted Russiagate probe
Attorney General William Barr has been allowed to begin declassifying information related to the counterintelligence investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election as he reviews the circumstances that led the FBI to open the probe. The order also directs the "intelligence community" to "quickly and fully cooperate," providing whatever materials Barr requests.
“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....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2019
....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.” @PressSec— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2019
Trump announced the declassification on Twitter, promising that it would "ensure that all Americans learn the truth" about the probe that has cast a shadow over the first two years of his presidency and "restore confidence in our public institutions."
By giving Barr the authority to declassify documents, Trump is going over the heads of the intelligence agency chiefs, many of whom have made no secret of their disagreements with the president. Barr began his investigation last month, focusing on the FBI's use of confidential informants as well as its grounds for using FISA to surveil the Trump campaign.
Last week, Trump tweeted that his campaign had been "conclusively" spied upon, and called for "long jail sentences" for those responsible for this "treason," but did not elaborate further.
Barr has said he believes "spying did occur" on the Trump campaign, though former agency director James Comey has complained "the FBI doesn't spy, the FBI investigates." Even current FBI director Christopher Wray seems to be uncomfortable with "spying," telling a Senate panel it is "not the term I would use" – he prefers "surveillance activity."Also on rt.com ‘This was treason:’ Trump hints at ‘long jail sentences’ over ‘FBI spying’ on his campaign
Trump has repeatedly and vociferously denounced the Russiagate investigation as a "witch hunt." The nearly-three-year-long investigation – beginning with the FBI surveillance in 2016 and ending with special counsel Robert Mueller's submission of his report in April this year – failed to turn up conclusive evidence of wrongdoing by the president, though that hasn't stopped his political opponents from calling for his impeachment anyway.
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