In a statement, a Justice Department spokesperson said, "When the President issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House Counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America's national security interests".
On September 7, twelve Republican congressmen appealed to President Donald Trump to declassify documents related to the FBI investigation of Russia's alleged interference in the U.S. elections in 2016.
"It is highly inappropriate and unethical for Mr. Trump to take any action that pertains to the criminal investigation of Russian collusion", Brennan, now the senior national security analyst for NBC News, told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. "Let's bring the full truth to light, while protecting sources and methods, and allow the American people to judge for themselves".
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He also highlighted a message from Strzok to Page, proposing to "lock in" an investigation right after Comey was sacked from the FBI.
Ohr, a senior justice department official who specialises in investigating organised crime, has come under attack from Trump and Republicans because his wife has worked for Fusion GPS, a private intelligence firm that was involved in the production of a notorious "dossier" of allegations linking Trump to Russian Federation. Critics of the move say the president has a clear conflict by trying to discredit an investigation in which he himself is a subject.
"I think this represents that even as far as May 2017, we still couldn't answer the question", Page told lawmakers during a closed-door deposition in July, according to Fox News. Rep. Mark Meadows told Bloomberg News, "As Congress has investigated, we've continued to see more and more troubling evidence suggesting multiple senior-level Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOJ officials acted in a deeply unethical fashion during the 2016 campaign and throughout the early stages of the Trump administration". "There will be no sources and methods being exposed here but what will be disclosed, the American people will find out that there was no basis for these FISA warrants", he said. Strzok was also recently fired, and has been criticised for sending texts disparaging Trump as a presidential candidate. Democrats weeks later released their own memo. His communications were monitored for almost a year starting in October 2016.
A statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the directive was made "at the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency". "We're on the verge of having the president do more declassification".