Republicans helming two key congressional committees have been pushing for the declassification of the surveillance documents and text messages for months, arguing that they would reveal bias within the criminal justice system that Trump believes tainted the Russian Federation probe long before he took office.
Former law enforcement and intelligence officials have likewise expressed deep concern, some going as far as to label the president's decision a "serious assault" on the country's justice system. "The things that have been found over the last couple of weeks about text messages back and forth are a disgrace to our nation". "And I want transparency and so does everybody else".
President Donald Trump on Monday directed the Justice Department to declassify and release the text messages of former FBI Director James Comey and others about the investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 USA presidential election.
They believe that the FISA court incorrectly allowed the surveillance on the basis of the material in the dossier. "Basically you have a counter terrorism tool used to spy on a presidential. campaign, which is unprecedented in our history".
The president tweeted Tuesday on the move, quoting a supportive congressman and adding: "Really bad things were happening, but they are now being exposed".
A US official says the declassification process ordered by the president will be a "complicated" matter.
Trump's directive drew fierce criticism from Democrats and praise from a group of conservative Republicans, many who are members of the Freedom Caucus, who have urged Trump to take this declassification step.
Nunes' committee is the lead investigative committee in Congress on these matters.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Monday, "the President is potentially risking the lives of our patriots by compromising sources and methods, all so he can advance falsehoods and false narratives that distract from the truth of the Trump-Russia scandal".
The letter said, "Any decision by your offices to share this material with the President or his lawyers will violate longstanding Department of Justice policies". But the North Carolina Republican nevertheless defended Trump's prerogative to declassify the materials.
"With the walls clearly closing in on him, President Trump is lashing out with this extraordinarily reckless and irresponsible release of classified information in a desperate attempt to distract from the seven guilty pleas and the mounting evidence of multiple criminal enterprises among his closest advisors", they said. Democrats later countered with their own memo. And New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen accused the president Tuesday of "trying to undermine an active investigation through reckless declassification".
"He certainly has the authority to do it", Brennan said. "Declassification is the executive branch".
The extraordinary move comes amid attempts by Trump and his closest aides to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which is probing whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election.
The documentation was characterized by the official as large, and the official also said that there is no time frame for the release.
The president is also declassifying all Federal Bureau of Investigation reports documenting interviews in connection with the Page surveillance warrant and those documenting interviews with Bruce Ohr.
Page has denied that he conspired with Russian Federation, and has not been charged with wrongdoing.
Mueller's team is investigating possible links between Trump's campaign team and Russians who sought to interfere in the 2016 election. Congressional investigators have asked for 21 pages of the 412 pages of FISA applications and warrants on Page.