On Tuesday evening, just hours before he left the office, President Donald Trump formally completed the declassification of the documents related to the Russia probe, overruling objections made by the FBI in the last effort to keep the memos’ contents secret.
In a White House statement, Trump revealed that the materials had not previously been shared with Congress or the public. He also said that he received them on December 30 in a binder. According to officials who have seen it, the binder is about a foot tall.
“I determined that the materials in that binder should be declassified to the maximum extent possible,” the president said.
On Sunday, the FBI objected to the complete release of the information. However, President Trump ordered the contents’ release, although he did allow for modest redactions to be made.
“As part of the iterative process of the declassification review, under a cover letter dated January 17, 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation noted its continuing objection to any further declassification of the materials in the binder and also, based on a review that included Intelligence Community equities, identified the passages that it believed it was most crucial to keep from public disclosure. I have determined to accept the redactions proposed for continued classification by the FBI in that January 17 submission,” President Trump stated.
Just The News has reported that the materials include an FBI memo that summarized an interview that agents did in the fall of 2017 with anti-Trump author Christopher Steele. In the interview, Steele had acknowledged his motives for leaking the Russia collusion narrative during the 2016 US election and giving orders to another confidential human source to spy on the Trump campaign by posing as someone seeking a job.
Officials said that they expect the first materials to be available to the public by midday on Wednesday.