Donald Trump and Mark Meadows planned to hand FBI file to conservative journalists
According to a deep dive by the New York Times, Donald Trump and his former White House Chief of staff rushed to get private FBI files redacted so the former president could declassify them and turn them over to journalists sympathetic to his administration.
The report states that work was completed just three days before Trump left office but was abandoned by Meadows after he was advised he could and government officials could be in conflict with privacy laws.
According to the report, "In Mr. Trump’s last weeks in office, Mr. Meadows, with the president’s blessing, prodded federal law enforcement agencies to declassify a binder of Crossfire Hurricane materials that included unreleased information about the F.B.I.’s investigative steps and text messages between two former top F.B.I. officials, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who had sharply criticized Mr. Trump in their private communications during the 2016 election."
The Times reports that FBI officials were concerned about releasing anything from the files, but that Meadows, "dismissed those arguments, saying that Mr. Trump himself wanted the information declassified and disseminated."
According to the report, "Just three days before Mr. Trump’s last day in office, the White House and the F.B.I. settled on a set of redactions, and Mr. Trump declassified the rest of the binder. Mr. Meadows intended to give the binder to at least one conservative journalist, according to multiple people familiar with his plan."
That plan was set aside after Meadows was warned off, with the Times reporting, "Justice Department officials pointed out that disseminating the messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page could run afoul of privacy law, opening officials up to suit."
The report adds that those files were not ones that were recently seized at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort just over two weeks ago.
You can read more here.
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