President Donald Trump announced from his Twitter account Thursday that he would grant U.S. Attorney General William Barr with the power to declassify documents related to his investigation into abuse of the FISA surveillance process.
The president made the declaration in a trio of tweets.
“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 during the 2016 Presidential election,” he tweeted.
“The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information.
“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.”
The president has the power to declassify whatever documents he sees fit. He has threatened that he might declassify documents that might be embarrassing to his Democratic opponents in the past.
Democratic Senator Dick Blumenthal (Conn.) said that he was “baffled” by the memo from the president.
“As a former United States Attorney and a State Attorney General for some twenty years, I am baffled by this memorandum. There seems absolutely no reason for it. Agencies have a legal obligation to cooperate with the Attorney General of the United States,” he explained on CNN.
“And it seems much more like an effort to distract with, frankly, a dull rusty object not a bright shiny one and I think that we already have two investigations ongoing into this area,” Blumenthal continued. “The Mueller report contains graphic detail about how the investigation got started with credible information about Russian spying that the FBI began addressing through a counterintelligence investigation.
“So the need for this memorandum, or whatever it is, in fact, seems far from apparent,” he concluded.
Here’s the latest on Trump’s announcement:
Trump orders declassification of intel related to campaign spying