One of Trump's biggest unfulfilled promises: Russia declassification
Just a week from his departure, more than 40 of the most critical and highly sought documents from the Russia scandal remain hidden from the public.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
For most of the last two years of his presidency Donald Trump has repeatedly and unwaveringly insisted he would declassify all the relevant evidence in the now discredited Russia collusion probe.
He first raised the idea in an interview with me back in September 2018, insisting then he was waiting for the Mueller Report to come out and exonerate him before he completed the task.
"I have been asked by many people in Congress as you know to release them," he said back then. "I have watched commentators that I respect begging the president of the United States to release them. ... And I have had many people ask me to release them. Not that I didn't like the idea, but I wanted to wait. I wanted to see what, you know, where it was all going. And I think this whole, it's a hoax."
After Special Counsel Robert Mueller cleared him of Russian collusion, Trump promised the declassifications were coming.
And some did, like the Peter Strzok-Lisa Page text messages and the explosive interview notes of a lead FBI agent who admitted the bureau never had any evidence of collusion but sustained the probe in a failed effort to "get Trump."
But some of the most tantalizing and explosive documents remain kept from the public by bureaucracies intent on hiding their biggest failures. And the continued shielding of these documents has prevented the public from understanding how the Russia collusion narrative was falsely spun up by Hillary Clinton and her inner circle in a desperate attempt in 2016 to "vilify" her Republican opponent and distract from her own woes on Russia and her email scandal.
The seal on these essential documents has remained even after Trump made this bold promise just a few months ago: "I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal," Trump tweeted in October. "No redactions!"
Now, the president has less than seven days to deliver, or let the bureaucrats win.
Over the last two years, I assembled a running list of the most important documents still to be declassified. Here it is:
- Documents showing all the requests made by Obama administration officials to unmask the overseas phone calls of Trump campaign, transition and family members from the beginning of the 2016 election through Inauguration Day 2017. These records have been declassified by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe but have been awaiting Attorney General William Barr's permission for release, officials told Just the News.
- The FBI interview reports of Igor Danchenko, the man identified as the primary sub-source for the Christopher Steele dossier, and any intelligence community documents raising concerns since 2008 that Danchenko had contacts with Russian intelligence.
- Any and all documents gathered during the Justice Department inspector general's office interviews with Christopher Steele, including any notes or documents he turned over concerning his interactions with the FBI and any interview reports, synopses or transcripts.
- All FBI 302 interview reports, confidential human source validation reports and CHS contact reports for Christopher Steele and Stefan Halper from May 2016 to December 2018.
- All records showing whether and why Steele or Halper were ever discontinued as confidential human sources for the FBI and CIA.
- All FBI text messages about the Russia investigation between former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Assistant Director Bill Priestap, FBI attorney Lisa Page or agent Peter Strzok.
- The 2018 classified report of referral from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to the CIA concerning spy tradecraft failures in the Russia Intelligence Community Assessment.
- The classified appendix to the DOJ inspector general's report on the FBI Mid-Year Exam investigation, which has been sought by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) for more than a year.
- All threat assessment and risk assessment documents produced in connection with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review and approval of the Uranium One transaction to Rosatom's ArmZ subsidiary in 2010.
- An FBI email chain from the early days of Crossfire Hurricane that was identified by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)
- The final spreadsheet created by FBI analysts that assesses the accuracy and substantiation for all allegations contained in the Steele dossier.
- The Defense Intelligence Agency documents concerning former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russia requested by Grassley more than a year ago, including any records of a defensive briefing and tasking orders given to Flynn or debriefings provided by Flynn in connection with his attendance at a Russia Today dinner in Moscow in 2015.
- All copies of FBI 302 reports created in connection with Flynn from December 2016 and January 2017
- All emails, text messages and memos from January 2017 concerning discussions about the Flynn probe between former Comey, Priestap and McCabe.
- All emails between Comey and former NSA Director Mike Rogers regarding involvement of the Steele dossier in the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
- All FBI 302 interview reports of former Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr and any evidence Ohr provided to the FBI or DOJ, including thumbdrives from his wife Nellie Ohr, in 2016 or 2017 concerning Russia or the Trump campaign.
- All records of defensive briefings given in the 2015-16 election cycle to then-candidate Clinton or her campaign and any records of defensive briefings given to Trump or his campaign during the same time frame.
- All records related to the State Department's July 26, 2016 meeting with an Australian government official concerning George Papadopoulos, Alexander Downer, Russia collusion, DNC hacking or related topics.
- All records related to the State Department official providing that Australian government information to the FBI or any other member of the U.S. Intelligence Community from May 2016 to August 2016.
- All State, CIA and FBI records related to the State Department and Australian government contacts between May 2016 and August 2016 concerning Papadopoulos, Downer, Russia collusion, DNC hacking or related topics.
- All FBI records concerning Bill Priestap's trip to London in May 2016 and Peter Strzok's July 2016 trip to London.
- All records related to Christopher Steele's contact with State Department officials, including Victoria Nuland, Kathleen Kavalec and Jonathan Winer.
- All records related to meetings or communications between Glenn Simpson and any State Department, Justice Department, CIA or FBI official between April 2016 and July 2019.
- All records from 2016 through 2017 related to communications between former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott or any other employee of the Brookings Institution and any then-current State Department official about Christopher Steele or the Trump campaign.
- All records from 2016 through 2017 related to communications between Sidney Blumenthal or Cody Shearer and the State Department, FBI, CIA or DOJ concerning matters related to Russia or the Trump campaign.
- All intelligence reports and memos that Christopher Steele provided the State Department between 2013 and 2017.
- Any FBI 302 interview reports in 2016 or 2017 with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
- Any correspondence to or from the U.S. Embassy in London about the FBI sending any official or affiliated person to the United Kingdom to gather information about Trump campaign or Trump family associates.
- All FBI 302 interview reports with former Senate Intelligence Security chief James Wolfe and any copies of documents he leaked to reporters, including 87 text messages transmitted to a reporter on one day in March 2017.
- All FBI documents that describe the source of the leak of Michael Flynn's intercepted calls with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak or the source of the leak of the Carter Page FISA warrant.
- All CIA and FBI documents concerning contacts between those agencies and Marc Elias, William Sussmann or other lawyers from Perkins Coie.
- All FBI 302 reports of any interviews with former NSA Director Rogers concerning Russia and the Trump campaign/transition.
- The unredacted version of a May 10, 2017 email from NSC staffer Eric Ciaramella and NSC Strategic Communications official William Kelly referenced in the Mueller report volume II and recently released as fully redacted to the Southeastern Legal Foundation.
- All FBI 302 reports of interviews with professor Joseph Mifsud between January 2016 and September 2020.
- All FBI, DOJ or CIA documents concerning the Party of Regions "black ledger" document discovered in 2016 in Ukraine, including any assessments about its accuracy, any interview reports and any analysis of handwriting.
- All FBI and DOJ records of an August 2016 meeting with FBI officials, Bruce Ohr, Bruce Schwartz, and/or Andrew Weissman concerning Russia or Trump.
- All FBI and DOJ records concerning an April 2017 meeting between editors and reporters of the Associated Press and FBI and DOJ officials, including Agent Karen Greenaway and DOJ prosecutor Andrew Weissmann.
- The fully unredacted version of the fourth and final FISA warrant application targeting Carter Page.
- The CIA communications in 2016 and 2017 to the FBI concerning Carter Page's relationship with the Agency and possible disinformation fed by Russia to Steele's dossier.
- Any correspondence between the British national security advisor or his deputy during the transition in January 2017 to Michael Flynn or K. T. McFarland concerning the issue of Russia.
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