In the closing days of his presidency— as President Donald J. Trump was preparing to declassify and make public almost a thousand pages of highly classified records pertaining to the FBI investigation into Russia’s covert interference in the 2016 presidential election to help elect him, and defeat Hillary Clinton — he turned to conservative columnist John Solomon for help.
On Jan 14, 2021, less than a week before Trump was to leave office, Solomon excitedly declared on his podcast, “I am here to tell you that, just a little while ago, President Trump authorized the declassification of all remaining FBI documents of the Russia probe to be made public before he leaves office.” Solomon said that the records consisted of a “foot and a half stack tall of documents from the FBI and Justice Department,” which, Solomon promised, would, in turn, contain “bombshell after bombshell.”
Towards that end, on Jan. 19, 2021, the day before he was to leave office, Trump signed a presidential order declaring that the Russia papers were to “be declassified to the maximum extent possible.” The order was signed about 7 p.m., ET.
On the very next day, though, just as Joe Biden was about to take his oath of office, Trump’s then-chief of staff, Mark Meadows, wrote a memo apparently clarifying Trump’s order, indicating that the documents would not be made public anytime soon. Meadows wrote in his Jan. 20, 2021 memo that the White House was “returning the bulk of the… documents to the Department of Justice” because of concerns by the department that their release would violate the Privacy Act.
Despite this, Solomon was able to post a story on his own website, Just the News, on the night of Jan. 19, 2021, and then another the following week, sourced from some of these very same records. [Continue reading…]