Thursday, March 28, 2019

Declassification--At The Right Time

Last night in his lengthy interview with Sean Hannity, President Trump addressed the issue of declassification. Recall that the original declassification order was far broader than just the FISA warrants, although that's the part that gets the most attention, for obvious reasons.

Among other things, Trump explains why he waited on declassification--it was on legal advice and had to do with the whole "obstruction" issue. But most of all it had to do with timing, and I would certainly not want to question Trump's sense of timing:

HANNITY:  Mr. President, you have the ability to release the FISA applications.  There was the original applications, the three subsequent renewal applications.  We are told, Andrew McCabe said, no dossier, no FISA warrant.  That was a backdoor to your campaign before the election.  
The dossier also was leaked to The Washington Post, parts of it, and Isikoff and David Corn, to the American people, and, of course, never verified.  
Do you have plans to release those FISA applications, Gang of Eight information, the 302s of Bruce Ohr and others, and the five buckets are [sic] John Solomon and Sara Carter, as they call it?  
TRUMP:  I do, I have plans to declassify and release.  I have plans to absolutely release.  But I have some very talented people working for me, lawyers.  And they really didn't want me to do it early on.  
Devin Nunes, by the way, and [Mark] Meadows, you look at Jim Jordan, and all of the people, they worked so hard.  And a lot of people wanted me to do it a long time ago.  I’m glad I didn't do it.  We got a great result without having to do it but we will.  
One of the reasons that my lawyers didn't want me to do it is they said, if I do it, they [my opponents] will call it a form of obstruction, so they will say, oh, you released these documents so we would make all of this information transparent.  You know, and politics you always hear “transparency.”  It would make it transparent.  And then they call it obstruction, knowing the people we are dealing with.  
So, frankly, I thought it would be better if we held it to the end.  No, but at the right time, we will be absolutely releasing it.  I did the right thing by not doing it so far . . .

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