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 Trump calls out Holder on kicking comments: 'Who says this?' Two Minnesota Republicans report attacks Now is not the time to reject civility MORE called President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US 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 ComeyFormer FBI lawyer speaks with House lawmakers on Rosenstein, 2016 Emmet Flood steps in as White House counsel following McGahn departure McGahn departs as White House counsel MORE will become public. 


"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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 ManafortFormer FBI agent sentenced to 4 years in jail for leaking to reporter The Hill's 12:30 Report — Mnuchin won't attend Saudi conference | Pompeo advises giving Saudis 'few more days' to investigate | Trump threatens military action over caravan Mueller assembles team of cooperators in Russian probe MORE. The deal included an agreement for Manafort to fully cooperate with Mueller's investigation.