More than nine months after the DOJ and a handful of Congressional committees launched probes into Russia's efforts to influence the election, President Donald Trump is finally pushing back by aiding Congressional Republicans' efforts to investigate the Clinton's Russia ties, which are as extensive than Trump's, if not more so.
Earlier this week, he reportedly ordered the Department of Justice to lift a gag order on an FBI informant, freeing him to testify before Congressional probes into the Obama-era Uranium One deal. And just minutes ago, CNN reported that the president has made it clear to the State Department that he wants to accelerate the release of any remaining Hillary Clinton emails in its possession as soon as possible.
The order comes as calls for the DOJ to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the deal are growing following the revelation that the FBI had investigated possible corruption related to Russia's push to buy up uranium in North America, but neglected to inform Congress. That probe led to the arrest of a Russian who was head of the US-based subsidiary of Rosatom, a nuclear energy company backed by the Russian state. Three Congressional committees have launched investigations into the deal. The central question is whether Hillary Clinton and her husband entered into a quid pro quo whereby she voted in 2010 to approve the sale of 20% of US uranium supplies to Russia – and in returned received hundreds of millions of dollars for the Clinton foundation from entities with ties to the Russian government. Her husband also received a $500,000 speaking fee from a bank with ties to the Russian government.
The FBI's decision to release documents pertaining to the infamous "Trump dossier" also appears to be part of this wave of transparency. The sources described the President's interest in the release of the emails – and the testimony of the FBI informant – as rooted in a commitment to "transparency," with one source adding that "the law requires cooperation with Congress and the courts."
The White House actually started pressuring State to speed up the process earlier this year. So far, the department turned over to Judicial Watch, a government watchdog group, 1,617 pages of documents, including 97 email exchanges not previously disclosed, after being hit with a series of FOIA lawsuits, according to the Washington Examiner.
It's unclear how many more emails remain to be released.
Trump has reportedly expressed frustration with government agencies that have been slow in responding to requests for information that he believes should be public, especially given congressional and court-ordered requests for the information. One source also said this effort is not about any individual or any particular item of evidence. However, both the lifting of the gag order and the effort on the emails involve one political figure who happens to be the President's favorite target: Hillary Clinton.
And there's still a chance that more emails might be discovered. The State Department still has 40,000 pages of records – which may include emails sent by Clinton as secretary of state – that it needs to review for potential release. These documents were discovered by the FBI and handed over to the State Department over the summer as a result of its investigation of former Congressman and recently minted felon Anthony Weiner.
The State Department has already processed 32,000 pages of the records from Weiner's computers, according to Judicial Watch.
Of course, while Trump might boast about being transparent, his decision to kowtow to the CIA and delay the released of thousands of pages of files related to the JFK assasination would suggest otherwise. However, we wonder, what will Trump ask for next?
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