President Trump’s decision to authorize the declassification of key documents from the Russia investigation is “long overdue,” former deputy independent counsel Sol Wisenberg argued Friday.
Trump on Thursday night issued a memo giving Attorney General William Barr the authority to declassify any documents related to surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016.
Trump also ordered the intelligence community to cooperate with Barr.
The memo read: “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.”
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“Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
“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. 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.”
Responding on “America’s Newsroom,” Wisenberg said the memo essentially puts U.S. intelligence agencies “on notice” that they need to “cut the stonewalling out.”
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Wisenberg said the move is “obviously necessary” and he was “overjoyed” when he heard the news. He said new information about the origins of the FBI’s counterintelligence probe is still coming out to this day.
“People are tired of the stonewalling. Barr is the person who’s been given the authority to help get to the bottom of it. Unless you give that authority to someone with the power and gravitas of Bill Barr, people are gonna continue to stonewall,” he said.
Wisenberg, however, tamped down expectations from some that former officials could “go to jail” or be tried for crimes as a result of the Justice Department’s review of the Russia probe’s origins.
Fox News’ Talia Kaplan and Mike Arroyo contributed to this report.