Donald Trump declassifies bombshell FBI files about Russia US election probe in final blow

Donald Trump delivers his farewell address

The files are connected to the ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ probe which assessed possible links between associates of Mr Trump and Russian officials. It was carried out from July 31, 2016 to May 17, 2017 and no such links were discovered.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller continued to investigate alleged links in a subsequent report.

Mueller did claim Russia had tried to interfere with the election – though there was no evidence of collusion with the Trump campaign.

The Mueller report said the Russian government “interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion” and “violated US criminal law”.

It did not find evidence that the Trump campaign “coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities”.

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Declassifying the documents is seen as an effort by Mr Trump and his allies to release information aimed at discrediting the Russia probe.

Mr Trump said he requested the documents on December 30 and “determined that the materials in that binder should be declassified to the maximum extent possible”.

He did not specify what the documents detail.

Following objections by the FBI, certain information will remain confidential.

Mr Trump wrote in a memorandum on Tuesday: “This is my final determination under the declassification review and I have directed the Attorney General to implement the redactions proposed in the FBI’s January 17 submission and return to the White House an appropriately redacted copy.”

Joe Biden will be sworn into office on January 20. Mr Trump refused to mention his successor during a 20-minute farewell speech.

He will leave his term behind an early morning send-off event at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland which is used by Air Force One.

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Sources close to the president told Associated Press the elaborate event will include a red carpet, colour guard and 21-gun salute.

Mr Trump will then fly to his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

The departing US President and First Lady usually hosts their successors for coffee in a long-standing tradition, but the Trumps may be prepared to break this based on the timing of the event.

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