Trump says he’ll declassify Russia investigation documents, then backtracks

Click to play video: '“Have absolutely nothing to do with it,” Trump reacts to recent Senate panel on Russia’s investigation'
“Have absolutely nothing to do with it,” Trump reacts to recent Senate panel on Russia’s investigation
WATCH: “Have absolutely nothing to do with it,” Trump reacts to recent Senate panel on Russia’s investigation – Aug 18, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he has authorized the declassification of all documents pertaining to the Russia investigation — only to contradict himself hours later.

“I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax,” he wrote in a tweet Tuesday evening.

“No redactions,” he wrote.

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Hours later, however, he claimed that he had already declassified those documents “long ago,” and appeared to criticize federal prosecutors for not moving to make any arrests.

“Unfortunately for our Country, people have acted very slowly, especially since it is perhaps the biggest political crime in the history of our country. Act!!!”

The Russia Investigation, headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, sought to determine whether Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

The investigation, which took place between May 2017 and March 2019, also looked examined allegations that associates of Trump had colluded with Russian officials.

Ultimately, the investigation found neither Trump nor his associates coordinated or conspired with Russian officials, however Mueller said he was not able to definitively say if Trump had obstructed justice.

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In May 2019, Trump gave Attorney General Bill Barr the authority to release classified information related to the origins of the Russia investigation, ordering the U.S. intelligence community to “quickly and fully co-operate.”

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The president has frequently claimed his campaign was the victim of “spying,” though the intelligence community has insisted it acted lawfully in following leads in the Russia investigation and conducted surveillance under court order.

However, with less than a month to go before the presidential election, Trump has sought to revive the investigation, and reframe it as an attempt by the Democrats and law enforcement to discredit his administration.

A Republican-led Senate committee inquiry into the case concluded this year that Russia posed a “grave” counterintelligence threat during the 2016 election, and that members of Trump’s campaign had regular contact with Russians and expected to benefit from the Kremlin’s help.

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The panel went on to conclude that Trump “was not complicit” in Russia’s efforts to meddle in the election, however.

Trump also said Tuesday he has authorized the release of all documents related to an investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

An FBI investigation concluded that while Clinton and her associates acted in an “extremely careless manner,” by using the private email server, no “reasonable prosecutor” would have laid criminal charges against her.

The tweets, among several sent by Trump Tuesday, come a day after the president returned to the White House after spending three days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he received treatment for COVID-19.

— With files from Global’s Sean Boynton and The Associated Press 

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