President Trump’s order allowing Attorney General William Barr to declassify documents related to the Russia investigation will show the FBI withheld crucial information from a top-secret court and expose Obama national security director Samantha Power’s unmasking of nearly 300 American citizens, according to investigative reporter Sara Carter.
“This is going to change everything. Trump’s order to declassify and AG Barr’s investigation is the beginning of the truth for the American people,” she tweeted Thursday.
In an appearance on the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” Thursday night, Carter said the FBI withheld exculpatory evidence from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court when it sought warrants for Trump campaign officials George Papadopoulos and Carter Page.
Powers’ unmasking – the identification of American citizens incidentally recorded in the surveillance of foreigners – was of an unprecedented scale, Carter said.
“When John Bolton was at the U.N., he unmasked three people. She unmasked close to 300,” said Carter. “And I’m going to tell you, some of those names are going to very important when they come out.”
President Trump has granted Barr “full and complete authority” to declassify government secrets. In a memo memo late Thursday, he ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to cooperate with Barr’s review of the Obama administration’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, which focused on the new debunked claim of Trump-Russia collusion.
Trump spoke briefly to reporters Friday about the move.
“Basically, what are we doing? We’re exposing everything,” he said. “We’re being – a word that you like, transparent. Ultimately, we’re being transparent. And that’s what it’s about.”
‘No more slow rolling’
Carter, who has been reporting for more than two years the origins of the Russia probe, pointed to the many agencies Trump directed to comply with his declassification order.
The president listed the secretaries of the State, Treasury, Defense, Energy and Homeland Security departments, along with the directors of National Intelligence and the CIA.
“He is asking all of these agencies, no more slow rolling, no more slow walking this information,” she told Fox News.
“We can see the evidence over and over again based on documents that Judicial Watch, congressional lawmakers have been able to pull forward, and now we see with this how important it is that the president issued this memorandum,” Carter said.
Power may have been targeting “any call made about Israeli settlements for unmasking,” tweeted One America News Network reporter Jack Posobiec.
He said that when Power found Gen. Mike Flynn, a member of Trump’s transition team and his first national security agency director, “making calls she opposed,” she passed information to assistant attorney general Sally Yates, who opened a Logan Act investigation.
Posobiec said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats now has now reviewed all of Powers’ unmaskings.
Schiff: Declassification ‘un-American’
Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called Trump’s declassification order “un-American.”
He charged in a statement Thursday night that Trump and Barr are conspiring to “weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies.”
But critics noted House Democrats – chiefly House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. – have been demanding the full publication of special counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report, which would illegally expose grand-jury testimony and some of the same intelligence Trump has allowed to be declassified.
Powerline blogger Paul Mirengoff reasoned that Trump merely “is providing access to information.”
“If the information shows no wrongdoing, there will be nothing to ‘weaponize,” he said in response to Schiff. “If the information shows wrongdoing, consequences should follow.”
Nadler complained to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Thursday night that there’s no “basis” to examine the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation, calling it an “imaginary scandal.”
“It’s part of the Trump and Republican plot to dirty-up the intelligence community, to pretend that there’s something wrong with the beginning of the Mueller investigation and to persecute and bring into line the intelligence agencies,” he said.