Transparency matters. A hallmark of our republic is that government officials are accountable to the American people, and nobody is above the law.
That’s been something conservatives have pointed out for years, but lately it’s the left that has jumped on the “transparency” bandwagon.
Since Donald Trump took office, liberals have complained about a lack of transparency from the White House. The president is trying to get away with everything while concealing his actions from citizens — or so the narrative goes.
But as we’ve seen many times before, that liberal narrative may be completely backward. A year ago, we covered how the establishment media was forced to admit that the Trump administration has been more open with the public than other recent presidents.
“The amount of the information flowing out of the president himself, not to mention the White House itself, is unparalleled,” Rick Klein, political director for ABC News, said in May 2018.
Now, the “lack of transparency” narrative has once again fallen on its face.
As part of his push to shine a light on what happened before and after the 2016 election, Trump announced Friday that he would provide unprecedented public access to documents connected to the “Russian collusion” claims leveled against him.
“We want to be very transparent, so as you know, I declassified everything, everything they want,” Trump told reporters, according to Fox News. “We are exposing everything.”
“Everything” in this case refers to previously classified materials related to alleged spying conducted by Obama-era officials against Trump’s team. The president and many Republicans have maintained that illicit surveillance was conducted to undermine Trump, based largely on false pretenses such as the debunked Steele dossier.
Americans will “be able to see how and why this whole hoax started,” Trump pledged, calling the scandal an “attempted takedown of the president of the United States.”
“You’re gonna learn a lot,” the president told reporters before he headed out on a diplomatic mission to Japan. “I hope it’s going to be nice, but perhaps it won’t be.”
The president has broad powers to declassify documents as he sees fit, a capability that Trump has passed on to Attorney General William Barr. This move could spell disaster for Democrats and the previous administration, if indeed they bent surveillance laws in a bid to hand the election to Hillary Clinton.
“Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2019
“The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Thursday.
“Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions,” that White House statement continued.
We’ve seen Trump outmaneuver his opponents before, and it just might be happening again. Actually, it’s becoming a theme: Liberals mistakenly believe they have the upper hand against the president, only to end up with the shoe on the other foot.
That’s what happened when Democrats and the establishment media only gave Trump a snowball’s chance in hell of winning in 2016. That’s what happened when they smugly acted as if the Mueller report would take down the president, and again what is now happening with the declassification of documents.
What happens next is anyone’s guess, but it would be a mistake to bet against Trump now.
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