The process of investigating the origins of the Russia hoax conspiracy has finally begun. Trump has given William Barr the authority to declassify related documents, so he can get started.
He has also ordered intelligence chiefs to cooperate with the investigation.
FOX News reports:
Trump gives AG Barr authority to declassify documents related to 2016 campaign surveillance
President 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.”
“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.
Here’s the tweet from Sarah Sanders:
Statement on Presidential Memorandum signed tonight pic.twitter.com/wHx6l2lL5c
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) May 24, 2019
The Associated Press has more on the intel angle of the story:
Trump moves to escalate investigation of intel agencies
President Donald Trump on Thursday granted Attorney General William Barr new powers to review and potentially release classified information related to the origins of the Russia investigation, a move aimed at accelerating Barr’s inquiry into whether U.S. officials improperly surveilled Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Trump directed the intelligence community to “quickly and fully cooperate” with Barr’s probe. The directive marked an escalation in Trump’s efforts to “investigate the investigators,” as he continues to try to undermine the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe amid mounting Democratic calls for impeachment proceedings…
Trump is giving Barr a new tool in his investigation, empowering his attorney general to unilaterally unseal documents that the Justice Department has historically regarded as among its most highly secret. Warrants obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, for instance, are not made public — not even to the person on whom the surveillance was authorized.
Trump explicitly delegated Barr with declassification power — noting it would not automatically extend to another attorney general — and only for use in the review of the Russia investigation.
This could move very fast.
By this time next week, that should be apparent.