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House conservatives ask Trump to declassify documents underlying Mueller investigation
House conservatives are intensifying their demands for scrutiny of Department of Justice (DOJ) decisions after the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.
In a letter sent to President Trump on Monday, eight House conservatives argued that the declassification of some related documents is necessary to find out "how Congress, the courts, and the American people were misled by Department of Justice leadership into a two-year investigation that failed to discover any evidence of Russian collusion."
The lawmakers want the Trump administration to declassify the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and other key documents related to the Steele dossier, including information on the Justice Department official's contact with Christopher Steele, who authored the controversial dossier.
The lawmakers cited the Mueller investigation closing with no additional indictments as further reason to release the documents.
The request is led by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and signed by Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Jody Hice (Ga.), Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Louie Gohmert (Texas) and Mo Brooks (Ala.).
"Not a single American has been charged with Russian collusion despite two years of media leaks and misinformation to the contrary," they wrote. "That is the conclusion of an investigation the very existence of which is unprecedented in American history. But how this investigation began, and the extent to which DOJ officials misled the public and the FISA court, remains shrouded in secrecy by documents that remain classified."
The lawmakers went on to say they expect the request to be met with pushback from the DOJ but feel it's critical that they receive answers.
"We have no doubt that you will continue to face resistance from the DOJ to the release of these documents because they will be embarrassing to the department or will expose wrongdoing. But that is no reason to keep these documents from the American people," they continued.
"The witch hunt has finally been brought to a close. Now comes the task of investigating how this happened to make sure that it never happens again. It is time to declassify these documents so that we can learn the truth," they wrote.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) - one of Trump's leading allies in the upper chamber - is also calling for information on alleged FISA abuse, calling for an investigation to receive the "other side of the story."
"When it comes to the [FISA] warrant, the Clinton campaign, the counterintelligence investigation, it's pretty much been swept under the rug. ... Those days are over," he told reporters during a press conference Monday.
Trump previously ordered the documents to be declassified by the FBI and DOJ in September but sidelined his plan shortly after national security concerns were raised.