Administration

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

Former Attorney General Eric Holder called President Trump’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 Comey will become public. 

{mosads}”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 Mueller’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 Manafort. The deal included an agreement for Manafort to fully cooperate with Mueller’s investigation. 

Tags Donald Trump Eric Holder James Comey Paul Manafort Robert Mueller
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