WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said documents from the federal Russia probe would not immediately be released, just days after he ordered them to be made public, citing concerns by the U.S. Justice Department that doing so could harm the investigation.
U.S. President Donald Trump departs the White House, to travel to Nevada for a campaign rally, in Washington, U.S., September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Trump, on Twitter, said the department’s inspector general would review the documents “on an expedited basis” and would “move quickly.”
“In the end I can always declassify if it proves necessary,” Trump wrote, after earlier demanding the release of documents in the ongoing investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Representatives for the department’s Office of the Inspector General did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump had called for the documents’ declassification on Monday, prompting criticism from Democrats and others that he and his allies were politicizing the probe to protect the White House just weeks before November’s congressional elections.
Trump has denied colluding with Russia and Moscow has denied meddling in the 2016 election, though major U.S. intelligence agencies agree that Russia interfered.
Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Dan Grebler