President Donald Trump reversed himself on Friday on the release of reams of Justice Department and FBI documents he claims show an internal bias to wreck his 2016 campaign and then his presidency.
Trump earlier this week announced the text messages and other documents would soon be made public, per the request of House Republicans. But he backtracked in a Friday tweet, saying Justice Department officials and “key allies” urged him to avoid a huge document dump.
Instead, the DOJ inspector general will review the materials before any are released.
“In the end I can always declassify if it proves necessary,” Trump wrote in a tweet that was apparently aimed at his supporters and House conservatives. “Speed is very important to me — and everyone!”
I met with the DOJ concerning the declassification of various UNREDACTED documents. They agreed to release them but stated that so doing may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe. Also, key Allies’ called to ask not to release. Therefore, the Inspector General.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018
....has been asked to review these documents on an expedited basis. I believe he will move quickly on this (and hopefully other things which he is looking at). In the end I can always declassify if it proves necessary. Speed is very important to me - and everyone!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018
Trump for months has criticized former FBI agent Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, a lawyer who traded texts with Strzok about Trump during the 2016 campaign while they were romantically linked.
On Sept. 11, Trump reacted to a Fox News report about an apparent plan Strzok and Page had devised to leak information to the media as “So terrible” before turning his anger, as he often does, toward Justice Department and FBI officials, tweeting his outrage that “NOTHING is being done at DOJ or FBI — but the world is watching, and they get it completely.”
Trump did not mask his frustration with the top law enforcement entities during a Thursday night campaign rally in Las Vegas, asking the crowd derisively: “How’s the Justice Department doing?”
On Sept. 12, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told Fox News this about the unreleased documents: “And I can tell you, there are dozens of other documents that would support the fact that Peter Strzok and Lisa Page had ongoing relationships with multiple reporters, and that they were feeding them information to spin a narrative against this president.”
Strzok and Page were actually discussing a new DOJ effort to stop officials from leaking information about ongoing investigations to the media.
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