While President Trump declassifying documents "at the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency", may sound like routine presidential behavior, the directive announced by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday afternoon was actually a dramatic escalation of his attempts to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
On Monday President Trump ordered intelligence agencies to declassify a mountain of Russian Federation documents and texts, including documents regarding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant on Carter Page and texts from key players in the Russian Federation investigation.
Trump made a similar move in February when the White House, over the objections of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and intelligence community, cleared the way for the Republican-led House intelligence committee to release a partisan memo about the surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Fox News contributor and former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) said on Tuesday that unless both parties come up with a specific name to redact from the documents soon, "the clock is ticking" on their release.
"It's a hoax", Trump said, "beyond a witch hunt".
President Trump said he's not anxious about former campaign chairman Paul Manafort cooperating in the special counsel's Russian Federation probe as "long as he tells the truth". "It is increasingly clear it was the Obama Administration who politicized the DOJ/FBI, not the Trump Administration", he tweeted Monday.
In a statement, a Justice Department spokesperson said, "When the President issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House Counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America's national security interests".
Mr. Trump also directed the Department of Justice to release FBI reports about Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department attorney, and the unredacted text messages of former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Ohr.
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Questions also continue to swirl around the FBI's alleged abuse of the FISA court to obtain multiple warrants on Page.
"Transparency wins. This is absolutely the right call from POTUS", said Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, on Twitter.
It is not clear from the statement when the declassification and release of the documents would occur.
The FBI and DOJ feel as though the release of these documents will put their sources and methods at risk.
Much is already known about the Carter Page warrant and the Strzok/Page relationship through previous texts, documents and memos, but the release should provide much more detail.
"They're having a more hard time working with the public because the public has lost trust in the FBI", Ringel said.
"Americans deserve the truth about these egregious actions by government officials", Scalise said.