President Donald Trump may have made a significant move in his last night as president. He ordered the declassification of documents related to operation “Crossfire Hurricane” that were previously confidential.
Crossfire Hurricane is the name of the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign. The beginning of the probe has been the subject of controversy, especially after the Inspector General’s report was released last year, showing glaring errors made by the agents involved.
The Epoch Times reported:
The Department of Justice provided the White House on Dec. 30, 2020, with a binder of materials related to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, portions of which were classified and not released to Congress or the public, Trump said in a memorandum for the attorney general, the director of National Intelligence, and the director of the CIA.
The details of the documents have not yet been publicized.
In the memo, Trump laid out his reasons for declassifying the documents. “I requested the documents so that a declassification review could be performed and so I could determine to what extent materials in the binder should be released in unclassified form,” he explained. “I determined that the materials in that binder should be declassified to the maximum extent possible.”
The president also acknowledged the FBI’s “continuing objection to any further declassification of the materials in the binder and also, on the basis of a review that included Intelligence Community equities, identified the passages that it believed it was most crucial to keep from public disclosure.”
He continued, noting that he did not take issue with the redactions that the FBI proposed.
“I have determined to accept the redactions proposed for continued classification by the FBI in that January 17 submission,” Trump said. “I hereby declassify the remaining materials in the binder. This is my final determination under the declassification review and I have directed the Attorney General to implement the redactions proposed in the FBI’s January 17 submission and return to the White House an appropriately redacted copy.”
The president added:
My decision to declassify materials within the binder is subject to the limits identified above and does not extend to materials that must be protected from disclosure pursuant to orders of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and does not require the disclosure of certain personally identifiable information or any other materials that must be protected from disclosure under applicable law. Accordingly, at my direction, the Attorney General has conducted an appropriate review to ensure that materials provided in the binder may be disclosed by the White House in accordance with applicable law.
The FBI investigation was launched in 2016 to look into allegations of Russian interference in the presidential campaign. The Bureau was also investigating potential ties between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. It was the beginning of the collusion hoax.
The investigation was continued in May 2017, when special counsel Robert Mueller was tasked with getting to the bottom of the story. In April 2019, his investigation found insufficient evidence that Trump or members of his campaign collaborated with the Kremlin to swing the results of the 2016 presidential election.
Since then, the team responsible for investigating the matter has been under scrutiny. A few months ago, former Attorney General William Barr appointed US attorney John Durham as special counsel to ensure that his investigation continued under the Biden administration. His probe has already resulted in one arrest. FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith was arrested for falsifying an email from the CIA to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump advisor Carter Page.
The content of the declassified documents is not yet known, but there is a chance that this could be an even bigger story, especially if it contains evidence of more misconduct on the part of the FBI. Of course, it could be much ado about nothing as well. Either way, we will find out soon enough.
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