President Donald Trump ordered on Monday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) declassify and release the Carter Page FISA application and all text messages related to the Russian Federation investigation from top DOJ and FBI officials who have come under intense scrutiny for alleged bias.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders cited "reasons of transparency" for the president's decision, as well as requests from Congressional investigative committees in a statement confirming the action.
The declassification order includes redacted portions of the FISA warrant the FBI obtained to spy on Trump associate Page, all FBI notes on interviews related to obtaining the warrant on Page, and all FBI notes on interviews with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr related to the Russian Federation investigation.
In March 2017, before news of the FISA warrant became public, Carter Page sent a letter to the Senate intelligence committee saying he may have been wiretapped during the time he spent at Trump Tower for the campaign.
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The White House said Trump's decision was made in the name of "transparency".
The president has also called for the release of all Federal Bureau of Investigation reports of interviews linked to all FISA applications to surveil Page.
Much is already known about the Carter Page warrant and the Strzok/Page relationship through previous texts, documents and memos, but the release should provide much more detail.
Trump also ordered the department to declassify interviews with Justice Department official Bruce G. Ohr, who worked in the deputy attorney general's office and had conversations with the author of a controversial dossier alleging ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
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Carter Page is an American oil industry consultant who served as a foreign policy adviser to Trump during his presidential campaign.
Several of Trump's allies on Capitol Hill, including Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who requested that the documents be provided, applauded the president's move.
"The case should never have been allowed to be brought", Trump added.
"[Trump] has chose to intervene in a pending law enforcement investigation by ordering the selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team and thinks will advance a false narrative", Schiff said, according to Fox News. Meanwhile, a source familiar with the process told CNN the declassification won't happen Monday.
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