Trump authorizes Barr to declassify documents

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on May 24, 2019 - Duration: 01:51s

Trump authorizes Barr to declassify documents

U.S. President Donald Trump has issued an order allowing Attorney General William Barr to declassify any information Barr sees fit during his review of the events that prompted the Russia probe.

Vanessa Johnston reports.

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Trump authorizes Barr to declassify documents

Intelligence agencies must cooperate with Attorney General William Barr's investigation into the origins of the Russia probe... And Barr may unilaterally declassify any information as he sees fit... Those were the orders from President Donald Trump, issued in a memorandum late Thursday... Trump: "I declassified, I guess, potentially, millions of pages of documents." ...a move that will expand Barr's power substantially...as the White House seeks to ramp up pressure on those who investigated his 2016 campaign... Trump: "They tried to do a take-down, and you can't do that.

And let me just tell you: This should never, ever happen to another president again." While Special Counsel Robert Mueller's nearly two-year probe cleared Trump of conspiring with Russia in the 2016 election... It stopped short of clearing him of obstruction of justice... Now the White House is trying to get to the bottom of how it all began…as it remains locked in a fierce battle with congressional Democrats...who are determined to pick up the Russia probe where Mueller left off... Trump's directive drew swift condemnation from Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, who tweeted: "While Trump stonewalls the public from learning the truth about his obstruction of justice, Trump and Barr conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies." But Republican House member Mark Meadows backed the move, tweeting: "Americans are going to learn the truth about what occurred at their Justice Department." Last month, Barr said he believes U.S. intelligence agencies spied on Trump's campaign...a remark that sparked outrage among Democrats…who accused Barr of pushing a conspiracy theory.

Barr has tapped a federal prosecutor in Connecticut to conduct the review.

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