DOJ agrees with Trump Back Off Declassifying Secret Russia Probe Documents, For Now

WASHINGTON – For the time being, the Department of Justice has succeeded in convincing President Donald Trump that the secrets of the secret documents relating to the ongoing criminal investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 elections must be removed.

The White House said earlier this week that Trump had ordered the Department of Justice to immediately reverse certain previously edited portions of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application with respect to Carter Page, a former Trump campaign advisor during the campaign of 2016 was followed by the government. Releasing the classified documents would mark an extraordinary intervention in the Russia investigation, led by Special Counselor Robert Mueller since May 2017.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

President Donald Trump had ordered the Department of Justice to declassify certain previously formulated parts of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application concerning Carter Page (above), a former adviser to the Trump campaign, before the president changed his mind.

But Trump went back Friday in a series of tweets and said that the Ministry of Justice at a meeting indicated that releasing the documents "could have a negative effect on the Russian probe." Instead, he said that the Inspector General of the Ministry of Justice was "asked to review these documents on an accelerated basis." Trump said he can "always declassify if necessary".

"Speed ​​is very important to me – and everyone!" Wrote Trump.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice declined to comment, while a representative of the Inspector General of the Ministry of Justice did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Trump, in a chummy interview this week with John Solomon and Buck Sexton of The Hill, said he wanted to release the documents because he was asked by "so many people I respect" before I locked up a number of Fox News and Fox Business Network hosts : "The great Lou Dobbs, the great Sean Hannity, the great, great Jeanine Pirro."

Trump had also instructed the government to exchange all text messages that were exchanged by former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and former FBI agent Peter Strzok about the Russian probe, as well as the texts of other officials from the Ministry of Justice and FBI. It turned out that Trump's statement – referring to "various UNSCRIBLE documents" – also applied to the release of those texts.

Leah Millis / Reuters

Some of the documents that Trump had asked the Ministry of Justice to declassify were texts that were exchanged between former FBI lawyer Lisa Page (above) and former FBI agent Peter Strzok.

Republican Trump advocates on Capitol Hill have relied on various SMS messages exchanged by Strzok and Page as a way to delegitimize the Mueller survey, which has already disabled a number of key Trump employees. DOJ & # 39; s Inspector General, in a report that criticized the FBI's treatment of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, said that the text messages that Strzok and Page exchanged have caused damage to & # 39; the reputation of the FBI for neutral factfinding and political independence & # 39 ;.

Ryan Reilly is the senior justice reporter of HuffPost for the Department of Justice, Federal Law Enforcement, Criminal Law and Legal Matters. Do you have a tip? Reach him at or Signal at 202-527-9261.