In Letter to FBI Director, Shaheen Calls for Protection of Sources and Methods as President Trump Recklessly Pursues Document Declassification

September 20, 2018

**Lead Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee which funds DOJ and FBI, requests answers on fulfilling the President’s declassification order, including whether AG Sessions has recused himself from the process**

(Washington, DC)—U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice, sent a letter yesterday evening to FBI Director Christopher Wray expressing her concern regarding potential exposure of sources and methods to adversaries as a result of President Trump’s order to declassify select information regarding the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

Senator Shaheen’s letter reads in part, “Such a declassification presents a clear risk to exposing highly-sensitive information that was gathered to provide the legal basis for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application on former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page. As you well know, the U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) often faces profound dangers in collecting such intelligence and providing this information to the U.S. Government. Up until the President’s September 17th order, there has always been the implicit understanding that sources and methods will not be released for political purposes, which puts lives at risk.” 

Her letter continues, “President Trump’s decision to personally insert himself into the investigative process constitutes a dangerous attempt to infringe upon the impartiality of the Department of Justice and the FBI. I urge you to make every attempt during this process to ensure that any documents released do not expose the sources and methods of intelligence collection or impede ongoing investigations.”

Her letter goes on to request detailed information regarding how the agency intends to implement the President’s declassification order and whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the process. 

The letter can be read in full here.