- The Washington Times - Friday, September 21, 2018

President Trump announced Friday that he met with the Justice Department about their security concerns regarding his order to release sensitive documents, but emphasized that he still has overriding power to declassify “if it proves necessary.”

Mr. Trump said the department agreed to release documents and text messages related to the Russia investigation, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and Carter Page, but “stated that so doing may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe.”

The president’s declassification order included a request to release text messages from Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, former FBI Directors James Comey and Andrew McCabe, and former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

He said the inspector general was asked to review the documents in light of their concerns, but emphasized that “speed is very important.”

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the Justice Department and FBI were planning to submit documents to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence with proposed redactions before they are sent to the White House.

The “key allies” Mr. Trump mentioned in his tweet is likely a reference to Democrats, who requested the intelligence community brief them on the review process before they move to fulfill the president’s order.

“Your agencies’ review and any communication with the White House on the substance of the materials, should not proceed further until you have briefed the Gang of Eight in person,” the letter read.

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