Get ready, because the investigation into the FBI/CIA/DOJ’s wrongdoing in 2016 is about to break wide open.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump took the extraordinary step of bestowing upon Attorney General William Barr the unfettered power to declassify any documents from the intelligence community that might shed light on the Russia probe. That power could quickly bring many heretofore unknown facts to public light, and it is exactly what many of Trump’s supporters have been waiting two long years for. The Democrats and the Obama administration will no longer be able to hide their coup behind claims of “oh, we can’t show that to the American people.” It’s all coming out now.
In addition, Trump signed a directive telling the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies to cooperate fully with Barr’s investigation, leaving the CIA, NSA, and other agencies with no choice but to comply or act in defiance of a direct presidential order. Any official who chooses the latter will undoubtedly be on the way out of a job.
“The heads of elements of the intelligence community and the heads of each department or agency that includes an element of the intelligence community shall promptly provide such assistance and information as the Attorney General may request in connection with that review,” the president’s memo reads.
While certain Republican lawmakers have been begging President Trump to declassify certain documents relating to the Russia probe, Trump has stayed his hand. His hope, obviously, was that the special counsel’s final report would finally put an end to this witch hunt once and for all. The hope was that by holding these classified documents in hand, he might convince congressional Democrats to move on, lest he release them to the public.
Well, that strategy clearly didn’t pan out. Democrats are subpoenaing witnesses from the Mueller probe, holding the attorney general in contempt, chasing down tax returns and other financial records, and openly talking about impeachment.
Trump has been left with no other choice but to play hardball.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the directive was necessary to restore Americans’ trust in the federal government.
“The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information,” Sanders said. “Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”
Democrats will no doubt be hopping mad about this latest move (Adam Schiff already called it “un-American”), but this is the card they’ve dealt themselves. They have no choice now but to play it.