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 HolderFeds will not charge officer who killed Eric Garner The old 'state rights' and the new state power The Hill's Morning Report — Harris brings her A game to Miami debate MORE called President TrumpDonald John TrumpAmash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' McConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Trump blasts 'corrupt' Puerto Rico's leaders amid political crisis 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 ComeyFBI's spreadsheet puts a stake through the heart of Steele's dossier Hannity invites Ocasio-Cortez to join prime-time show for full hour The Hill's 12:30 Report: Acosta under fire over Epstein plea deal 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 (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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 ManafortWebb: Questions for Robert Mueller Top Mueller prosecutor Zainab Ahmad joins law firm Gibson Dunn Russian oligarch's story could spell trouble for Team Mueller MORE. The deal included an agreement for Manafort to fully cooperate with Mueller's investigation.