President Trump on Thursday evening ordered the intelligence community to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr’s probe into the origins of the Russia investigation — and gave Barr the green light to declassify related documents.
“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,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote in a statement.
Trump and his allies have long been skeptical of how the Russia probe originated, fearful that too much weight was given to ex-British spy Christopher Steele’s dossier, which was financed during the general election by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
The dossier looked into candidate Trump’s ties with Russia and made startling claims, with only some later verified.
Testimony from Barr only heightened these concerns, when he said that he believed “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign during the 2016 cycle. He was likely alluding to intelligence agencies surveilling Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, who was the subject of several FISA warrants. Some of those documents have since been made public.
Earlier this month, Barr appointed a U.S. attorney to examine the origins of the Russia probe.
In November, during an Oval Office sit-down with The Post, the president said he wanted to declassify FISA warrant applications and other documents from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, predicting that the exposure would show that the FBI, the Justice Department and the Clinton campaign were in cahoots.
He was just waiting for the right time to strike.
He said that time would be if the Democrats decided to go down the “presidential harassment” track.
“It’s much more powerful to do it then,” Trump said back in November, “because if we had done it already, it would already be yesterday’s news.”
This week things came to a head between Trump and top Democrats, with the president openly trading barbs with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling her “crazy” and saying he refused to work on infrastructure – or anything else – if investigations in the House continued. House Democrats plan to continue with their multiple probes into the president.
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