President Trump on Friday hit pause on his rush to declassify documents related to Russia investigation, tweeting that he will leave it up to the Justice Department inspector general to vet them.
“I met with the DOJ concerning the declassification of various UNREDACTED documents,” Trump wrote. “They agreed to release them but stated that so doing may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe. Also, key Allies’ called to ask not to release. Therefore, the Inspector General has been asked to review these documents on an expedited basis.”
Trump added that he “can always declassify if it proves necessary. Speed is very important to me – and everyone!”
The White House had announced earlier this week that Trump was plowing ahead with a remarkable plan to order the release of text messages that former senior government officials exchanged about the probe. Trump wanted to release the materials the FBI used to get a surveillance warrant against his former campaign aide, Carter Page.
Former intelligence officials cautioned that doing so would jeopardize U.S. sources and methods, and Trump said that several close allies of the United States reached out to express their concerns.
House Republicans, meanwhile, have applauded Trump’s declassification efforts. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) told Fox News Friday that the delay in releasing the materials proved the DOJ and FBI were “looking to be part of the cover-up crew.”