The documents the president ordered declassified include a portion of a secret surveillance application for a former Trump campaign adviser, materials by default treated as highly secret and withheld from public view.
Trump also ordered that FBI interviews with Bruce Ohr be released surrounding the ongoing Russian Federation investigation as well as all text messages relating to the Russian Federation investigation from former FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
Trump noted that his order was based on requests from lawmakers on the House Intelligence and Oversight committees, and wouldn't answer directly if he plans to declassify even more items in the future.
Trump and Republican supporters want the records out in hopes they'll reveal law enforcement bias in the early stage of the Russian Federation investigation and prove the probe was opened without good reason.
The president's conservative allies had this month appealed directly to the president to release the materials, and they praised Trump's directive as a win for transparency.
Democrats in the House believe this is just another attempt by President Trump to selectively release documents which will strengthen his own defense in the Special Counsel investigation. "We applaud President Trump's boldness for taking this step and we encourage the administration to expeditiously release the documents". -Calif., the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said he had been told the release of these materials could compromise intelligence sources and methods.
Gaetz, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, added that he looks "forward to the forthcoming release of these documents, and reviewing them closely".
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) said his testimony confirmed many of his fears of bias and FISA process abuse.
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 U.S. presidential election".
Several agencies will work to remove sensitive details from the material before it's released publicly.
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 Congress has investigated, we've continued to see more and more troubling evidence suggesting multiple senior level Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOJ officials acted in a deeply unethical fashion during the 2016 campaign and throughout the early stages of the Trump administration. That is important for the American people to know, and we have to deliver that message going into October".
Those officials are former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI official Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Ohr.