Tues. 12:40 pm: Trump declassifies some Russia probe papers

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White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement that in addition to Comey's texts, the president is ordering the Justice Department to publicly release Ohr's texts related to the Russian Federation investigation as well as those of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Those allies, particularly conservative Republicans in the House, contend that the FBI's Russian Federation investigation is biased against Trump at its core and from its early stages.

Although Monday's announcement had been anticipated, the news comes as the Trump administration is grappling with sexual-assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

It does not explain why they would be "forced" to release the documents.

A Justice Department spokesperson said the agency was already working with the ODNI to comply with the President's order.

The president tweeted Tuesday, quoting a supportive congressman and adding: "Really bad things were happening, but they are now being exposed".

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Trump told The Hill website on Tuesday, "I hope to be able put this up as one of my crowning achievements that I was able to. expose something that is truly a cancer in our country".

"What I want is total transparency", the president said. If I thought it was likely I'd be there no question.

Trump has long taken aim at the Mueller investigation, which won a major victory last Friday when former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort agreed to cooperate with the investigation as part of a plea deal. And later that same month, a countermemo by Democrats on the same committee was declassified and released in redacted form.

The next paragraph reads: "Senior executives at the FBI, Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence were scrambling Tuesday to respond after being taken by surprise by a White House press release Monday directing them to release classified material they had previously determined should not be made public".

"The danger (is that) decisions such as this, especially if they might appear to be politically motivated, suggest that the U.S. Government can't be trusted to keep its own secrets", said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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In March 2017, before news of the FISA warrant became public, Carter Page sent a letter to the Senate intelligence committee saying he may have been wiretapped during the time he spent at Trump Tower for the campaign.

According to lawmakers, other indicators that the FISA warrant may have been obtained under false pretenses were exposed in text messages between former Special Agent Peter Strzok and FBI Attorney Lisa Page. His communications were monitored for almost a year starting in October 2016.

A US official says the declassification process ordered by the president will be a "complicated" matter. Ohr is known to have been in contact with the dossier's author, former British spy Christopher Steele.

Trump fired Comey in May 2017, originally citing the Russian Federation probe, and then saying that the firing was not "because of the phony Russian Federation investigation".

"Transparency wins. This is absolutely the right call from @POTUS", said Rep. Mark Meadows (R) of North Carolina, on Twitter. "These documents will reveal to the American people some of the systemic corruption and bias that took place at the highest levels of the DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigation, including using the tools of our intelligence community for partisan political ends", he said.

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Though there are other instances of government officials or contractors spilling government secrets, Chesney said, "What's remarkable about this is it's the White House that's doing it".