"President Trump, in a clear abuse of power, has chose to intervene in a pending law enforcement investigation by ordering the selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team and thinks will advance a false narrative", Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said in a statement that also raised concerns about the possibility that intelligence sources and methods could be compromised by the release ordered by Trump.
In an interview with St. Louis Pubic Radio, Comey said former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's plea deal may be a signal the probe is wrapping up.
Some of the documents and text messages ordered for declassification have been previously released with redactions.
"Really bad things were happening, but they are now being exposed, " Trump wrote in his own voice. It was unclear how soon the documents would be released. That review is ongoing. The FBI released a heavily redacted version of the application earlier this year, as intelligence experts maintain that sources and methods could be compromised if too much information is revealed.
The June 2017 application was the last of four filed by the Justice Department in support of FISA court orders allowing the monitoring of Page.
The unredacted portions of the first FISA application spell out in stark terms the FBI's suspicions that Page was being recruited by the Russians to secretly act as their agent as they sought to "undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 United States presidential election".
Christopher Steele, a former British spy with deep connections to Russian intelligence, was tasked with compiling it.
Trump also ordered the department to declassify interviews with current DOJ official Bruce Ohr.
According to Sanders' statement, Trump also directed the Justice Department to publicly release in full the text messages of Comey, Ohr, former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and former FBI special agent Peter Strzok that are related to the Russian Federation investigation.
"I think this represents that even as far as May 2017, we still couldn't answer the question", Page told lawmakers during a closed-door deposition in July, according to Fox News.
Warrants to monitor the communications of a suspected agent of a foreign power are a common tool in counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations, but they're applied for before a secret court.
"As long as he tells the truth, it's 100 percent", Trump said, before departing the White House to visit storm-ravaged North and SC.
However, Republicans have called on Trump to release documents related to the Robert Mueller's probe for weeks, despite not knowing what the material actually contains.
"Americans deserve the truth about these egregious actions by government officials", Scalise said.
"President Trump has intervened again in a pending investigation by ordering the selective disclosure of classified materials he believes to be helpful to his defense", tweeted Democrat Adam Schiff.
"With respect to some of these materials, I have been previously informed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department that they would consider their release a red line that must not be crossed as they may compromise sources and methods", Schiff said.