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Mark Warner warns Trump on Russia docs: ‘Be careful what you wish for’

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mark warner
In
this June 13, 2017, file photo, Senate Intelligence Committee
Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., listens during a committee
hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Associated Press/J. Scott
Applewhite


  • Mark Warner, the ranking member on the Senate Intelligence
    Committee, warned President Donald Trump to “be careful what you
    wish for” after Trump ordered the release of sensitive materials
    related to the Russia investigation.
  • Trump has ordered “the immediate declassification” of parts
    of the FBI’s June 2017 application to surveil former Trump
    campaign aide Carter Page.
  • While the Trump campaign sought to distance itself from Page
    after he drew scrutiny, the former adviser testified to the House
    Intelligence Committee last year that he
    had several
    contacts
     with people linked to Russia, at
    times with the campaign’s knowledge.

Mark Warner, the ranking member on the Senate Intelligence
Committee, issued a stark warning after President Donald Trump on
Monday ordered the release of sensitive materials related to the
Russia investigation.

“Be careful what you wish for,” Warner said.

On Monday evening, the White House announced that Trump had
directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and
the Department of Justice (DOJ) “to provide for the immediate
declassification” of parts of the FBI’s June 2017 application to
surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, as well as FBI
reports of interviews connected to Page and DOJ official Bruce
Ohr.

The president also asked the FBI and the DOJ to release, without
redaction, all text messages pertaining to the Russia
investigation from former FBI director James Comey, former deputy
FBI director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI
lawyer Lisa Page, and Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr.

Warner has read the Russia documents that Trump wants released.

One of the sections of the Page FISA application that Trump
ordered declassified appears to relate to the time period that
Page worked on Trump’s campaign as a foreign policy adviser.

And pages 17 to 34 of the Page FISA application, which Trump
wants released, deal with Page’s possible coordination with
Russian government officials on activities designed to influence
the 2016 election.

While the Trump campaign has sought to distance itself from Page
after he drew scrutiny, the former adviser testified to the House
Intelligence Committee last year that he
had several
contacts
 with people linked to Russia, at
times with the campaign’s knowledge.

His testimony also appeared to corroborate key sections of the
so-called Steele dossier, a collection of explosive memos
compiled by the former British spy Christopher Steele that
alleges collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Several parts of one section of the Page FISA application that
Trump wants declassified also appear to contain information about
confidential sources that Steele used while compiling his
dossier, as well as Steele’s own history as an FBI source.

Trump did not ask the DOJ and FBI to declassify subsequent
portions of the document that detail Page’s activities and
Russian efforts to recruit him as an agent before he joined the
campaign.

The president also did not order the declassification of another
part of the document that details information Page provided to
the FBI during an earlier interview, or sections that go over
Russia’s attempts to recruit New York City residents as
intelligence assets.

Trump’s decision alarmed national security
experts
, who cautioned that the declassification of some of
the material Trump wants released could endanger the lives of
confidential sources and harm the US’ relationship with its
foreign allies.

“The President shouldn’t be declassifying documents in
order to undermine an investigation into his campaign or pursue
vendettas against political enemies,” Warner tweeted on Monday. “He
especially shouldn’t be releasing documents with the potential to
reveal intelligence sources.”

Meanwhile, Adam Schiff, the ranking member on the House
Intelligence Committee, revealed Monday that the FBI and DOJ had
told him that if the release of such sensitive documents related
to the Russia probe and the FBI’s sources and methods would
breach a “red line.”

The White House said the president made his decision in the
interest of “transparency” and at the request of several
congressional committees.

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