But two officials said their calls for declassification have been met with opposition from within the intelligence agencies, with some objecting that such a release would be too close to Election Day.
Trump has ramped up his criticism of Barr in recent days as he seeks to make the origins of the Russia probe a major election issue. The president has long cast the Russia investigation as a political hoax meant to undermine him and has called for the indictment of his political enemies, including former President Barack Obama and former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
„She said she had 33,000 e-mails,“ Trump told Fox News on Thursday. „They’re in the State Department, but Mike Pompeo is unable to get them out, which is very sad actually. I’m — I’m not happy about him for that, that reason. He was unable to get — I don’t know why. You’re running the State Department and you get them out. But they’re in the State Department.“
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday said Trump had „tasked me with getting some declassification rolling“ as the president was recovering from COVID-19 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Officials began releasing documents on Tuesday.
– Recent declassifications by DNI John Ratcliffe: „I thought it was a outrageous, appalling and blatant act of politicization that he released, very selectively, some intelligence that was provided then to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is right now engaged in, I think, a very partisan effort to try to debunk the necessary investigative efforts of the FBI that looked into Russian interference in the 2016 election.“
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified unverified Russian intelligence despite concerns being raised by the CIA and National Security Agency, according to people briefed on the matter.
Career officials in the intelligence agencies were concerned about declassifying the information because it was unverified and they believed it could reveal sources and methods. Ratcliffe overrode those concerns and sent the document to Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham on Tuesday, the people sa
Graham pointed to the documents declassified Tuesday by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe — which summarized unverified Russian intelligence that Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was trying to „stir up a scandal“ by tying Trump to Russia — arguing they showed the FBI’s double standard in not investigating Clinton and Russia.
One Republicans senator even asked Comey about the Democratic allegations he had swung the 2016 election to Trump by releasing information about the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s emails.
“According to his handwritten notes, former Central Intelligence Agency Director Brennan subsequently briefed President Obama and other senior national security officials on the intelligence, including the ‘alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016 of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.’”
„On 07 September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok regarding ‘U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server,’” the letter continues.
„Unfortunately those releases and declassifications according to multiple sources I’ve talked to are being blocked by CIA director Gina Haspel who herself was the main link between Washington and London,“ Davis said. „As the London station chief from John Brennan’s CIA during the 2016 election. Recall, it was London where Christopher Steele was doing all this work. And I’m told that it was Gina Haspel personally who is blocking a continued declassification of these documents that will show the American people the truth of what actually happened.“
Retired CIA operative and CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd talks about British national Christopher Steele, author of the infamous Steele dossier, deciding to talk with U.S. officials about his part in the Trump-Russia investigation.
Mudd predicts things are going to get „ugly“ when Attorney General Bill Barr concludes how the probe was initiated which will give the Trump White House „ammo.“
Let me restate that: William Barr is opposed to certain, very narrow subsets of domestic surveillance. Specifically, Barr doesn’t think the government should have spied on Trump and his campaign staff, if that’s what actually happened, which Barr doesn’t actually seem to know.
But if you’re literally anyone else, domestic surveillance is just another name for national security, whether you’re a random Verizon customer or one of the world’s most useful websites.
The Wikimedia Foundation sued the federal government over domestic surveillance back in 2015. The suit lives on four years later …
A source close to Steele told The Times he will meet with investigators in London in the coming weeks. Republicans have long alleged it was Steele’s dossier that improperly led to an FBI inquiry, which ultimately morphed into special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump and campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.
– The former British intelligence officer authored what became known as the golden showers dossier
– Congressional investigators sought to interview him without success
– He will meet with unidentified U.S. investigators, a source close to him told the Times of London
– Attorney General Bill Barr ordered a new investigation of the origins of the Russia probe
– The Mueller report did not confirm salacious claims from the dossier
– The report did include a footnote about a Georgian businessman who told Michael Cohen he had ’stopped flow‘ of ’some tapes‘
„This approach threatens national security by subverting longstanding rules and practices that obligate you and other heads of [intelligence community] agencies to safeguard sources and methods and prevent the politicization of intelligence and law enforcement,“ Schiff wrote in the letter to Coats, which was also sent to the heads of the CIA, NSA and FBI.
Attorney General William Barr said he’s not satisfied so far with official accounts justifying the counterintelligence investigation into whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was involved in Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
“These counterintelligence activities that were directed at the Trump campaign, were not done in the normal course and not through the normal procedures as a far as I can tell,” Barr told “CBS This Morning” in an interview broadcast Friday.
Last month, Barr announced he had assembled a team to review the FBI’s original Russia probe which was opened in the summer of 2016. Barr appointed U.S. Attorney from Connecticut John Durham to lead the investigation which will focus on the use of FBI informants as well as alleged improper issuance of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.
But Barr, in an interview with CBS News that aired Friday, said he has more questions than answers at this point in the probe.
Key allies who share intelligence with the United States could soon be dragged into the middle of Attorney General Bill Barr’s politically-charged Justice Department review of how the Russia investigation began.
President Donald Trump has said he wants Barr to look into the role key intelligence partners, including the United Kingdom and Australia, played in the origins of Russia probe.
The move marked an escalation in Trump’s efforts to „investigate the investigators,“ as he continues to try to undermine the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe amid mounting Democratic calls to bring impeachment proceedings against Trump.
President Trump has granted Attorney General William P. Barr “full and complete authority” to declassify government secrets, issuing a memorandum late Thursday that orders U.S. intelligence agencies to cooperate promptly with Barr’s audit of the investigation into Russia’s election interference in 2016.
The declassification of documents applies to the Department of State, Treasury, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, CIA and the Director of National Intelligence.