Democrat leaders Pelosi/Schumer/Schiff/Warner have written to Director, National Intelligence (DNI) Coats, DAG Rosenstein, and FBI Director Wray to direct them to ignore President Trump’s order on declassification without first running the information through Congress.
Reportedly, DNI, DOJ, and FBI are “working…to comply with the president’s order.” Unofficial reports are surfacing they may send a package (still redacted) to the White House for review. This would be a violation of the President’s order to declassify three sets of documents in addition to text messages, unredacted.
As with the declassified “Nunes” intelligence committee memo, intelligence/justice officials are expected to object on the basis it would expose sources and methods, and interfere in an investigation. Twitter account @JohnWHuber posted a very good thread on 9/19/2018 outlining some of the sources/methods/investigation details which the government has leaked, citing the DOJ OIG report and Senator Ron Johnson’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs report. The bar graph near the end of the thread comparing the number of national security leaks in the first 126 days of the last three presidents is one glaring representation of the extent of the government’s malfeasance.
An additional twist: It’s very possible the names of journalists who aided the government in their efforts will also be in the declassified information.
Congressional Democrat leadership has no authority to command the executive branch to disobey a direct order from the POTUS. These same Democrat leaders have shown no interest in getting the unredacted documents (which I believe are included in the ones President Trump has ordered), Congress has requested from DOJ, yet now they protest mightily at their being released to Congress and the public. They’re not interested in enforcing their Constitutionally granted oversight authority, but they want to usurp the executive’s. This is possibly a step on the road to impeaching Trump should the Democrats win the House majority; they think they can declare Trump endangered national security.
There is no one more entitled than American citizens to know who/what/when our government was doing to surveil a political campaign/presidency. Government works for us; there is no privilege allowing them to supersede or operate separate from laws or departmental guidelines. To paraphrase Nixon, “Americans have got to know whether or not their justice and intelligence officials are crooks.”
Donald Trump often has been referred to as authoritarian. Is there anything more imperious than Congress ordering employees of the executive branch to disobey a direct order from the Chief Executive and instead report to Congress? Note also that Democrats in Congress are calling on the FBI to investigate accusations against Judge Kavanaugh that are the purview of local/state authorities, not the FBI. For folks so worried about Trump improperly using the levers of the justice system (over which he has Constitutional authority), Democrats sure like exerting their will in a variety of extralegal ways.
Citing DOJ concerns that POTUS’ order to release specific documents unredacted would impact the investigation, President Trump indicated Friday (9/21/18) that release will be delayed pending DOJ OIG “expedited” review of them.
Trey Gowdy (around 4:05 mark), who has seen in their unredacted form all the documents POTUS has ordered to be released, said that while the release of the info may be embarassing, embarassment is no reason to not declassify documents and there’s nothing that will jeopardize national security of the US in them.
Devin Nunes also indicated there are no national security concerns in the information, pointing out some of the loudest voices warning against declassification, are themselves involved in some capacity with the documents (read John Brennan).