The Declassification Conundrum

Sundance has another excellent piece that helps to explain why President Trump hasn’t released the trove of classified documents that we’ve all been waiting for. Most believe that they represent the smoking gun that will expose the criminal activities by the Obama Intelligence Services, DOJ, and FBI in their attempts to destroy first, candidate Trump and later, President Trump.

It’s a long piece so I’ve excerpted parts of it to post here. I’d encourage anyone who would like to know all of the details to visit The Conservative Treehouse at the link.

We’ve been led to believe that the president can declassify the documents, at will, with a stroke of his pen.

Apparently, it’s not quite that simple.

Even after a congressional request by a dozen members of Congress, he has yet to act. He keeps threatening to release the documents, but so far hasn’t done so – many of us keep asking why? Specifically, the congressional request asks the president to declassify and release the Carter Page FISA applications (including pages 10-12, 17-34, and relevant footnotes).

At first glance, it appears to be a simple request right? However, it is anything but simple for a lot of reasons.

[following are excerpts from the Treehouse article]

First, here’s a link to the General Principles of declassification [SEE HERE] Yes, the President can declassify anything; however, there is a process that must be followed.

Part of that process is similar to the former declassification request surrounding the FISA memo written by HPSCI Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.

Following that declassification process the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, and the FBI Director, Christopher Wray, and the Attorney General, in this example Rod Rosenstein, needed to “sign-off” on the declassification.

The process reasoning is simple in the ordinary (non-corrupt) flow of events.  The intelligence agencies might need to protect part of the information, such as “sources or methods” of intelligence contained within the classified material. Under ordinary declassification procedures, the President would likely not want to compromise the ‘sources’ and ‘methods’, and would defer to the intelligence experts.

Now, let’s consider the actual status of the current request – and remind ourselves we are not talking about an ordinary situation.  In this situation, there are corrupt elements, current officials and career voices, within the FBI and DOJ who have a vested interest in NOT APPROVING the current request.

The President (Chief Executive) wants to declassify the FISA application material as requested.  The President requests the DOJ and FBI to remove the requested redacted portions of the Carter Page FISA application.  Specifically:

“pages 10-12 and 17-34 and relevant footnotes, all of the Bruce Ohr 302s and other relevant documents, including exculpatory evidence regarding Carter Page and others, that were presented to the Gang of Eight, but not presented to the FISA Court.”

So President Trump requests his FBI Director and Attorney General to declassify those documents as requested by Congress.  However, if the FBI Director and/or Attorney General refuse to declassify those documents, then what happens?

Remember, all current behavior reflects the current DOJ and FBI leadership are just as complicit in the current corruption -via the cover-up-  as the former DOJ and FBI leadership.  The current DOJ/FBI leadership (both members of the executive branch) have been refusing to turn over these and other documents.

Yes, President Trump is the Chief Executive, but unfortunately, he has executive cabinet members who are actively acting against his requests.  [See the numerous Trump tweets for examples of the President’s frustration].

Now the ordinary process becomes anything but ordinary.

Now the problem moves from process to politics.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (he’s recused and of no help) so the request goes to Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray.  If they refuse, President Trump’s option is to fire and replace the officials who are blocking the request.  However, that option is politically charged…. [hence the media drum beating the 25th amendment; see, this is all coordinated].

AG Jeff Sessions is recused (frustration), and the request would be against the interests of DAG Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray who are participating in a cover-up of one of the largest abuses of power in American political history.  See the problem?

The President needs the AG or DAG and FBI Director to approve and sign-off on the declassification request.  Under normal, non-corrupt, processes this would be simple.  However, under corrupt leadership, intent on hiding jaw-dropping abuse of authority within the institutions of the DOJ and FBI, the process is anything but simple.

That’s the current problem.

Hopefully, everyone can see the issue.

Now let’s talk about the “WHY”.  Why are Rosenstein and Wray almost certainly unwilling to release the requested material?  [If they were willing, it would have already happened]

Here’s where we need to look at the likely cause of many of the redactions, “Sources and Methods” – the all too familiar phrase.

As we saw from the unredacted portions of the original FISA application release, the FBI and DOJ used corrupt intelligence (Steele Dossier) and media reports as “sources” for their original FISA warrant.

It is almost certain that under the redactions currently being requested to be removed there are more media reports used as “sources”.  Indeed, Representative Mark Meadows has alluded to exactly that.

The FBI and DOJ have leaked to the media and then used those media reports to validate their FISA warrants and renewal applications.  The “sources and methods” are corrupt.

So let’s walk this out while overlaying aspects we have already identified.

How likely is it that the 3rd FISA renewal signed by Rod Rosenstein (June 29th, 2017), the subject of the current request, was based -in part- on media reports?

Highly likely?  I would say, yes.

So again, walking this out.

Remember the March 17th, 2017, FISC copy that was given to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), and leaked by the Senate Security Director James Wolfe to his concubine/journalist Ali Watkins?

How likely is it that the Buzzfeed, WaPo and New York Times articles, that used the leaked FISA application in their reporting, were included as part of the renewal request?

Likely?  I would say, yes.

If so, think about what has almost certainly happened.

The FISA Court released a copy of the Carter Page FISA application to the SSCI.  The SSCI then leaked the FISA Application to the media. The media then reported on Carter Page as part of the vast Russian Conspiracy (the insurance policy) based on the SSCI leak.  The FBI and DOJ then used the 2017 media reporting from the SSCI leak to request the June 2017 FISA renewal.

Keep in mind, all of this happened under the current FBI and DOJ leadership.

Can you see the corruption problem for the DOJ and FBI?

Now, keep walking this out.  How likely is it that James Wolfe leaked that FISA application at the request of Senators on the SSCI?   Remember his defense?

Attorneys for James A. Wolfe sent letters to all 15 senators on the committee, notifying them that their testimony may be sought as part of Mr. Wolfe’s defense, according to two people familiar with the matter. (link)

So what this looks like is an intentional effort within the SSCI (See Mark WarnerAdam Waldman, et al) to create a process to ensure the FISA surveillance warrant was extended in 2017.  This renewal was critical; it was part of the insurance policy being executed.  Remember Adam Waldman, the guy text messaging with Mark Warner, lying to Chuck Grassley to avoid giving testimony to Congress?

See the big picture?

See the scale of corruption?

Now, do the hit jobs by the New York Times make sense?  Anonymous Op-eds?  Articles and discussions about needing to invoke the 25th Amendment?

Corrupt politicians, corrupt media, corrupt FBI and DOJ officials past and present; all of them have a vested interest in opposition to any declassification sunlight.

So yes, President Trump can request declassification within his executive authority; however, he needs DOJ and FBI officials within his executive branch who are willing to follow instructions.  If those officials are connected -or implicated- directly or indirectly in the corruption…. well, just how would you expect to see it play out?

Perhaps, just perhaps, it would play out exactly as we have been watching it play out for the past nine months.


My friends, what the president has here is a Catch-22 (see definition below). In order to declassify and release the documents, he needs individuals to sign off on the process who will be implicated in criminal acts if they approve the release. President Trump’s only option if Rosenstein and Wray won’t sign off is to fire them both which will require naming new successors thereby igniting a firestorm of political pushback from the democrats. And then, can the newly-named replacements get confirmed?

For those of you too young to be familiar with the phrase, here’s the definition:

noun, plural Catch-22’s, Catch-22s.
  1. frustrating situation in which one is trapped by contradictory regulations or conditions.
  2. any illogical or paradoxical problem or situation; dilemma.
  3. condition, regulation, etc., preventing the resolution of a problem or situation; catch.

I believe that the British call this kind of situation a ‘sticky wicket,’ referring to a croquet term.



Categories: Political


18 replies

  1. Yet, I think, if I understand rightly, the president can read what he will. And from his own hand he could release it. Although with political risk. Just what I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The entire set of Q Anon stories offers so much extreme swamp draining it seems too good to be true. Too dream, the impossible dream…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, David. I’d like to believe it, but it strains my ability to accept that he/she/it has top-level access and believes that leaving ‘crumbs’ of information around that require faith to accept them. Q may be spot on, but I have more questions than faith.


  3. The article is wrong on the foundational premise, based on my own experience in Mil Intel.

    The President is the Chief Executive, and as such he is the ultimate “classifying authority”. He quite literally has the power and authority to walk into any room in any office of the government and give orders to every single person in that room, and those orders must be carried out.

    That means he can walk into the classified document vault, grab any document he wants. declassify it on the spot, and walk out the door with it, and nobody could countermand him.

    That’s just a fact.

    Now, whether or not it might be “seemly” or good politics (optics) for him to do so is a different issue. But he certainly CAN do it if he wants to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OK, Brian, I’ll admit to confusion based on lack of knowledge.

      I originally assumed that the POTUS had the position-based authority to declassify anything – as you said (and he does, but other issues remain).

      My confusion stemmed from knowing that Barack Obama issued an Executive Order (#13526) on Dec 29, 2009, that revised some of the rules for declassification. It is said that President Trump could rescind Obama’s order and issue a new one if he deemed it necessary. Those changes specifically address a president’s options if a subordinate refuses to comply with a president’s order to declassify.

      That seemed likely to fit the current situation.

      So, it appears that you are correct that a president has the authority to declassify a document, but it gets complicated if a subordinate refuses to comply. The president will eventually get his way but there is a process that apparently must be followed relative to others that also must sign off.

      Obama’s EO says that if a subordinate refuses to comply, he/she must report to the president on the reasons for non-compliance, and then the authority falls to the official’s next in authority (and he/she either complies or reports to the POTUS and the authority drops again to the next in line, etc.

      Sooner or later, someone is going to comply with the president and stop refusing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • All of that is presumptive on POTUS using the chain of command to carry out his order. He can personally do whatever he wants. Like I said, if he wants to walk into the classified documents vault and personally declassify something, he can do so at his own whim.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I initially thought to myself – “there would be a political firestorm if he did that,” but as soon as the doc was released, it would be apparent WHY the underlings refused to comply – they were covering their own asses. So, the firestorm would be short-lived.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Draining the swamp!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It is possible that Trump has already requested the declassification, and that it is being held up by one of the others, DNI, DFBI, or DAG. I’m unsure he can redirect the bureaucracy on issues already in place (prohibition against ex post facto laws, etc.).

    IG Horowitz with announce his findings very soon, which will set the stage for indictments by Huber AFTER the midterms.

    The confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh, and the release of the IOG Report will be death blows to the liberal talking points.

    Remember, this Part 1 of a trilogy that ends at the midterms. Part 2 begins between election day and Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • See my reply to Brian. It’s likely that although Trump has declassified the docs, one or more of the originating officials are refusing to comply – and that may be what is holding up the process? We’ll probably know soon.

      Please refresh your reference to the trilogy, I don’t remember the timeline.


      • Garnet,

        Q said about 8 months back that we are watching a movie, with actors playing their assigned roles to complete the Plan. What makes a great movie? Conflicts? Plot twist? Heroes and villains? You’ve got them! Some of the actors, Congressmen for example, don’t know the whole Plan, but they are well aware of the role they are to play. About 2 months ago Q refined the movie concept, and said that it would be a trilogy, with the first starting THEN, and ending with a big climax before the midterms.

        I’m assuming that climax will be the declassification release and the OIG Report referring multiple persons for criminal investigation. Huber will confirm that he has initiated investigations, as he has been doing the investigations for Horowitz. Don’t be surprised if some of those named are in the MSM.

        The 2nd movie will begin immediately after the midterms, before Thanksgiving, with a number of indictments announced that will roll into 2019. With 50,000 already in the can, it’ll be easy to release them in tactical groups. (Realize that many such indictments are of financial corruption, money laundering, sex trafficking, and the like. Many will be of foreign nationals residing overseas, much like Mueller’s Russians.)

        The 3rd movie has an undetermined start but will begin in 2019 after another climax from movie 2, guilty pleas and suicides, maybe even the revelation of military tribunals where appropriate. This movie will be the culmination of this stage of the Plan and will make the 2020 election a clear choice between the Republic or return to corruption.

        The Great Awakening is a global plan to end the corruption of the Cabal. That is why it has to be done sequentially. Saudi Arabia was first. The US is second, including N. Korea and Iran being defused. Then Europe/Japan, and finally China.

        SA was first because they were corruptly funding the politicians of all western democracies, of both parties. Look at the list of resignations. US politicians were given a chance to fold their cards, and retire from the game. Those who continued in the game are playing for high stakes indeed. In the US, the DOJ, FBI, State Department, Secret Service, and CIA had all been corrupted. It has taken all of the time since inauguration to even approach executive control of those entities. There are still rogues in each of the agencies. But all communications, other than non-eavesdropped face to face, are fully monitored. As Q says, We Know Everything!

        (The McCain funeral was the largest meeting of the Cabal in history, bigger than a Bilderberg meeting!)

        Got popcorn?? Enjoy the Show!


  5. Ok, see if this is feasible and if I’m remembering correctly…IF Jeff Sessions is the cunning fox some think he is, then now would be the time to direct Huber to release his report, with supporting documentation, and blow this this wide open, would it not?

    According to what was reported earlier, his position has the authorization to access to all this documentation and more, so maybe he could be Trump’s ace in the hole.

    There’s a lot riding on that ‘IF’ in regard to Jeff Sessions though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It would seem to be an appropriate time to drop the Hubelear bomb IF Sessions is all that some think he is – not an opinion that I share, btw. Yes, I believe that were he not recused, he could declassify the docs but as long as he is voluntarily impotent, he can go back to sleep, we’ll try not to interrupt his nap.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds very plausible to me.

    When it comes to political games, Republicans have a very long way to catch up with democrats. They are the masters, perhaps because lies and deceit come so naturally to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually CW, I’ve done a little digging on this issue and it seems like there could be several ways around the roadblocks that appear to stand in the president’s way. Of course, he may already have prepared the way to enable release and is just waiting ‘for the right moment.’

      But, if the signoff by Wray and Rosenstein is still an issue, there appear to be other ways to skin that cat.

      He could rescind Obama’s EO (# 13526 of December 29, 2009) that is currently the controlling source and replacing it with a new Trump EO that could resolve the issue with Wray and Rosenstein by allowing someone (like John Bolton, NSA) to sign off?

      Could the FISA court itself declassify its own application (and supporting materials)?

      Even offering immunity to one or more of the criminals in exchange for them signing off? Not a preferred method, but better than never getting the docs released at all. Better to crucify most of them even if one or two get off.

      Based on the hints he’s been dropping, I’d bet that Trump has already found a workaround and is just waiting for the moment when the release will be most damaging to the dems.

      Liked by 1 person

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