The public may be on the verge of getting a lot more information about the FBI's activities related to the Russia investigation after President Donald Trump ordered the declassification and release of documents and text messages related to the probe, according to Fox News.
The move, celebrated by Republicans and met with sharp resistance from Democrats, could provide the clearest look yet into what Trump has repeatedly called a "witch hunt" against him.
"As Congress has investigated, we've continued to see more and more troubling evidence suggesting multiple senior level FBI and DOJ officials acted in a deeply unethical fashion during the 2016 campaign and throughout the early stages of the Trump administration," Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said. "Enough is enough--the time for full transparency is now. Let's bring the full truth to light, while protecting sources and methods, and allow the American people to judge for themselves."
What will be released?
The most high profile documents that will be revealed from this move include the FISA warrant renewal application against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page (as well as hundreds of other pages of applications), and text messages from controversial figures such as Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr and James Comey.
The Carter Page warrant was released in heavily redacted form in July, amid controversy over the FBI allegedly using the Democratic National Committee- and Hillary Clinton-funded Steele dossier as grounds for the renewal without informing the FISA court of the Democratic connection.
Strzok and Lisa Page are former FBI agents who are known to have exchanged anti-Trump texts while involved with the Russia investigation. More texts from them, as well as Ohr and Comey, will be released unredacted.
What will be the result of this?
The Trump administration is banking on these releases giving more evidence that the investigation into Trump and his campaign over Russian collusion/interference is corrupted with bias.
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.
Democrats are clearly worried about the potential consequences of this declassification, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) condemned the move in a statement.
"[Trump] has decided to intervene in a pending law enforcement investigation by ordering the selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team and thinks will advance a false narrative," Schiff said, according to Fox News. "With respect to some of these materials, I have been previously informed by the FBI and Justice Department that they would consider their release a red line that must not be crossed as they may compromise sources and methods. This is evidently of no consequence to a President who cares about nothing about the country and everything about his narrow self-interest."
There is no set timeline or format for the release of the materials at this time.