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What Are These ‘UNREDACTED Documents’ That Trump is Talking About?


WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump used his Twitter account again.

This time, Trump tweeted about the allegedly untoward behavior of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice vis-à-vis the non-release of certain, unidentified (but hopefully unredacted) documents. In a tweet sent late Saturday afternoon, Trump wrote:

Lawmakers of the House Judiciary Committee are angrily accusing the Department of Justice of missing the Thursday Deadline for turning over UNREDACTED Documents relating to FISA abuse, FBI, Comey, Lynch, McCabe, Clinton Emails and much more. Slow walking – what is going on? BAD!

Trump’s first tweet was followed up with another sent about eight minutes later. The president said:

What does the Department of Justice and FBI have to hide? Why aren’t they giving the strongly requested documents (unredacted) to the HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE? Stalling, but for what reason? Not looking good!

So, what’s up with these docs? Why exactly has Trump’s attention shifted to them? Perhaps the answer lies in Friday’s Wall Street Journal. Yesterday, the editorial board of the conservative-oriented publication released an FBI-directed broadside titled “A Broken FBI Promise.” The editorial begins like this:

Just last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray released a statement saying he was unhappy with how the bureau was responding to “legitimate congressional requests” for information—and promised a “transparent and responsive” FBI. But already both the FBI and the Justice Department are back to their old tricks.

The WSJ editorial was written in response to Thursday’s news that the DOJ and FBI failed to provide congressional investigators with various documents related to the FBI’s decision-making during the 2016 general election. Those documents were supposed to be provided by a deadline.

That deadline whooshed by and congressional conservatives got a phone call instead. In comments to The Hill, a GOP source said, “The Department of Justice has not yet complied with the subpoena and we are working with officials at DOJ to take immediate steps to comply with the subpoena and produce documents to the committee.”

As for the documents themselves? They run the gamut of Trumpian and conservative bugbears and are believed to include information regarding the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation, much-rumored abuses of the country’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) and its concomitant secret court, and possibly even details on the unceremonious firing of Andrew McCabe.

[image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher

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