Nov 28, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Trump threatens to declassify Russia documents to hit back at House Democrats

President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Wednesday that if the incoming House Democratic majority "harass" him by launching investigations into his administration, he would declassify documents related to the Russia probe that he claimed would be damaging to them.

"I think that would help my campaign. If they want to play tough, I will do it. They will see how devastating those pages are."
— Trump told the publication

The backdrop: House Democrats are already preparing for an onslaught of hearings, subpoenas and investigations from Trump's family business dealings, tax returns and the Russia probe.

  • In September, Trump reversed his previous plan to release the documents, which include surveillance warrant applications on former campaign adviser Carter Page and text messages related to the Russia probe from former FBI Director James Comey and others.
  • Justice Department officials had cautioned him that it would discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation by revealing it was illegitimate.

The details: Trump told the New York Post that it would be “more powerful” to save the document releases until when the new Congress convenes. He also said his attorney believes it would help him politically if he waits.

Go deeper