That is the question. Donald Trump announced that he was doing to declassify the documents used to obtain the FISA warrants regarding Carter Page and testimony before congress by key FBI officials. He backed off that, apparently at the request of the FBI and the DOJ. Why did Trump change his mind?
We can be certain those documents are damaging for Democrats. We know this because Republicans are the ones who wanted them declassified. We also know that Democrats are desperate to keep them out of public view. Select members of congress have seen the unredacted versions of those documents. Adam Schiff recently announced that he was sending the unredacted version of those documents to Robert Mueller. We can be absolutely sure that if these documents had any information potentially damaging to Donald Trump, Schiff would have been the first to leak them. This sure looks like an obvious attempt to keep them away from public view.
Again, one must ask: “Why did Donald Trump change his mind.” Did the FBI and/or the DOJ convince him that they were legitimately part of a criminal investigation and Trump had no problems with this investigation. If so, some people like Hillary Clinton should be very concerned. Perhaps key FBI/DOJ officials, like Christopher Wray and Rod Rosenstein threatened to resign if Trump declassified those documents without their consent. That would create an instant constitutional crisis, because Democrats in congress would immediately respond by accusing Trump of obstructing justice. Remember, facts are irrelevant here.
Or perhaps this just another in a long list of cases where the FBI absolutely refuses to give up information. Following the Boston Marathon Bombing, the FBI rather quickly identified photos of two suspects. But they withheld that information until they got a call from Fox News saying they had the photos and they were going public with the story in just a few minutes. Then and only then did the Senior FBI Agent in Charge agree to go release these photos and ask the public for help finding the suspects. Within a very short period of time the FBI was getting a ton of tips that ultimately lead to the death of one alleged bomber and the arrest of the other.
Then I wondered if there was more. It is highly likely that Mueller already had unredacted copies of those documents. He used at least some of them in the Roger Stone indictment. He certainly has them now, because Adam Schiff delivered them to him. So, Trump certainly wasn’t trying to keep them from Mueller.
If Trump releases them now, over the objections of the FBI, he will be accused of obstructing Mueller. But what if Trump waits until Mueller releases his report? This reminds me of the old Quaker farmer who caught a chicken thief in his barn. He said: “friend, I would do thee no harm for the world, but where thee standeth I am about to shoot.” By holding back those documents, Trump could be sending a very similar message to Mueller.