Jeffrey Ringel Quoted by Wired: The Collateral Damage of Trump’s Extreme Declassifications 
October 2, 2018

The Collateral Damage of Trump’s Extreme Declassifications 

By: Lily Newman


ON MONDAY EVENING, the White House released an orderinstructing the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to declassify excerpts from an array of documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference. He has every legal right to do so. But national security analysts and former intelligence officials say that such a demand isn’t just largely unprecedented; it’s potentially dangerous …

“I do not recall anything like this happening in the past,” says Jeffrey Ringel, director at the intelligence consultancy The Soufan Group, who spent 21 years as a national security specialist at the FBI. “Emails and text messages of investigators have been pulled into court previously by defense attorneys, but this would be much more broad and public. If law enforcement guaranteed that my identity would be kept secret as part of a deal, and then that bond is broken, it makes people lose faith in the system. The damage that would be done is something that’s going to continue for several years …”

“The President of the United States should not be involved at this level in an ongoing investigation,” the Soufan Group’s Ringel says. “This may be good for President Trump this week, but in the long term it’s going to have detrimental effects, because faith in the system has been weakened.”


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