Full text of President Trump’s Memorandum on Classification of FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Material
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Here is the complete text of Trump's Memorandum on declassification of FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation materials provided by the White House:
MEMORANDUM FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
THE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
SUBJECT: Declassification of Certain Materials Related to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:
Section 1. Declassification and Release. At my request, on December 30, 2020, the Department of Justice provided the White House with a binder of materials related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation. Portions of the documents in the binder have remained classified and have not been released to Congress or the public. I requested the documents so that a declassification review could be performed and so I could determine to what extent materials in the binder should be released in unclassified form.
I determined that the materials in that binder should be declassified to the maximum extent possible. In response, and 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, on the basis of 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.
I hereby declassify the remaining materials in the binder. This is my final determination under the declassification review and I have directed the Attorney General to implement the redactions proposed in the FBI’s January 17 submission and return to the White House an appropriately redacted copy.
My decision to declassify materials within the binder is subject to the limits identified above and does not extend to materials that must be protected from disclosure pursuant to orders of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and does not require the disclosure of certain personally identifiable information or any other materials that must be protected from disclosure under applicable law. Accordingly, at my direction, the Attorney General has conducted an appropriate review to ensure that materials provided in the binder may be disclosed by the White House in accordance with applicable law.
Sec. 2. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
(d) The Attorney General is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
What is Crossfire Hurricane?
“Crossfire Hurricane” is the code name the FBI assigned to their investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. It was opened on July 31, 2016, because of a tip from Australia’s ambassador to the UK, that one of Trump’s advisers, George Papadopoulos, knew in advance about Russian meddling in the election.
The term is a reference to a lyric in the 1968 Rolling Stones song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” which begins: “I was born in a crossfire hurricane/And I howled at the morning driving rain.” It’s unclear who at the FBI settled on that name, the “Times” reported.
At the beginning of the investigation, the FBI kept it unusually close to the vest, fearing leaks. Only five agents knew about it, compared to the usual 15 who would be notified of an inquiry at that secrecy level.
“Crossfire Hurricane” was the basis for the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel in May 2017. In its first year, the Mueller investigation has brought 75 criminal charges against 22 people and companies, along with 5 guilty pleas, CNN reports.
Which materials would be declassified and its impact?
It’s unclear which documents Trump has ordered declassified less than 24 hours before he leaves office. He cited the decision as based on the results of a Dec. 30 review he asked the Justice Department to perform. The department presented him with a “binder of materials” that remain classified, he said in a memorandum issued on Tuesday. Trump said he then asked for the documents to be declassified to “the maximum extent possible.”
Trump says he has accepted redactions proposed by the FBI, which had objected to the declassification. The practical impact of the declassification order was unclear given that Trump leaves office on Wednesday.
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