President Trump orders declassification of Russia probe documents he believes to be evidence there was spying on his campaign during the 2016 election.
The president gave Attorney General William Barr the directive to do so Thursday in an effort to shed light on alleged Obama-era abuses.
Essentially, the order allows Barr to declassify “information or intelligence that relates to the attorney general’s review.”
The memo specifies Barr’s declassification power would not extend to another attorney general, and only applies to documents connected to the Russia probe.
Though Barr will be working with other intelligence agencies during the process, reports suggest the attorney general will have unilateral power to unseal “highly secret” documents.
AG William Barr given power to declassify documents on surveillance activities into Trump campaign https://t.co/BTni3mb2n2
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 24, 2019
The directive also orders various national intelligence agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Pentagon, and the director of National Intelligence to “promptly provide such assistance and information as the attorney general may request in connection with that review.”
According to Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Barr will have “full and complete authority” to declassify documents he sees fit in connection with the probe.
This is the president’s latest push to “investigate the investigators” in an effort to determine potential legality issues with how the Russia probe began.
“Intelligence Agencies were used against an American President.” @DevinNunes @ShannonBream @FoxNews This should NEVER happen to a President again! Dems are furious at Robert Mueller for his findings – NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION. Now they should go back to work and legislate!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2019
The president’s decision comes about two weeks after reports surfaced suggesting Barr had appointed top Connecticut prosecutor, John Durham, to investigate the roots of what President Trump calls the “witch hunt.”
Both President Trump and Barr have clarified they do believe spying targeting the Trump campaign occurred during the last presidential election cycle.