Ex-DOJ Director Explains Why Trump’s Russia Declassification Order May Put Him in Legal Jeopardy: ‘There’s No Exception’ for the President

"Public interest is not an exception."

Dan Metcalfe (Screengrab / NewsmaxTV)

With Donald Trump’s decision on Monday to release texts from former FBI Director James Comes and 20 portions of a surveillance application on former campaign adviser Carter Page, Dan Metcalfe, there former co-director of Justice's Office of Information and Privacy, warns the president may be putting himself in legal jeopardy.

The order, which Trump announced Monday, includes a demand for 20 pages of the Page surveillance application. 

“In addition, President Donald J. Trump has directed the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr,” an announcement from the White House declared Monday.

As legal experts told Politico, Trump’s order to release unreacted text messages from Comey and others has “he potential to violate the Privacy Act, a federal law protecting against disclosure of personal information in government files.”

Metcalfe said while he’s “amazed to see” what Trump’s declassification order says, “there is no exception” to the Privacy Act—not even for the president.

"Public interest is not an exception,” Metcalfe told Politico.


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Elizabeth Preza is the Managing Editor of AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @lizacisms.