Eric Holder: Trump releasing docs on Russia probe is 'dangerous abuse of power'

Eric Holder: Trump releasing docs on Russia probe is 'dangerous abuse of power'

Former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderEric Holder says Trump is subject to prosecution after leaving office Eric Holder: Democrats 'have to understand' that 'borders mean something' Trump lawyers ask judge to toss out Dems' tax return lawsuit MORE called President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE's decision to declassify a range of documents related to the Russia investigation is a "dangerous abuse of power."

"This is an especially dangerous abuse of power by this President," Holder tweeted Tuesday. "He places his self interest above the national security interests of the country."

The criticism from Holder, who served as attorney general during the Obama administration, comes just a day after Trump ordered the declassification of a set of sensitive documents tied to the Russia probe.

The order makes public classified parts of a surveillance application that gave the FBI the ability to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. In addition, text messages tied to the investigation into Russia's election interference from top federal officials such as former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyNadler's House committee holds a faux hearing in search of a false crime We've lost sight of the real scandal Former Obama officials willing to testify on McCabe's behalf: report MORE will become public. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"When the President issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House Counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America's national security interests,” the Department of Justice said in a statement Monday evening.

“The Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the President's order.”

The decision comes after multiple GOP lawmakers made repeated requests for the president to take this step. 

The move has led to outrage from former officials such as Holder. John McLaughlin, an acting CIA director under former President George W. Bush, tweeted on Monday that Trump's decision "probably qualifies as the President’s most serious assault on the Justice system yet."

"Wrong on so many levels for Justice, law-enforcement, intelligence," McLaughlin said. "If he forces it all the way through, it ought to be a resignation issue for someone in Justice. Maybe Trump’s intention?"

Trump has vociferously railed against special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE's investigation into Russia's election interference and possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. He's repeatedly referred to the probe as a "witch hunt."

Last week, prosecutors secured a plea deal with former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortLewandowski refuses to say whether Trump has offered him a pardon Democrats return to a battered Trump Manafort's legal team argues NY prosecution constitutes double jeopardy MORE. The deal included an agreement for Manafort to fully cooperate with Mueller's investigation.