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After Eight Months, Intel Community Will Finish Classification Review Of Russia Transcripts ‘Very Soon’

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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The intelligence community is nearly done with a classification review of more than 50 transcripts from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s Russia investigation, a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Throughout this process we have cooperatively worked with the committee to complete the review in a timely manner, and we expect to complete the [intelligence community’s] review very soon,” the spokesperson said Friday.

For over eight months, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has pored through 53 House Intel transcripts to determine what information can be made public. It is not clear how long after the review is completed that the thousands of pages of documents will be made public.

The Intelligence panel voted Sept. 28, 2018, when Republicans controlled it, to submit the transcripts for classification review.

The committee interviewed 73 witnesses as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Some Obama administration officials were also interviewed about their activities prior to the election and during the presidential transition period.

The transcripts were for interviews of Obama administration officials, including former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power.

FBI Director James Comey (L), U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (C) and CIA Director John Brennan (R). REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE

Numerous Trump associates were also interviewed, as was David Kramer, a longtime associate of the late Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain who provided the infamous dossier to BuzzFeed News. (RELATED: John McCain Associate Was BuzzFeed’s Source For Dossier)

California Rep. Devin Nunes, who held the vote on declassification as chairman of the intelligence panel, initially expected the review to be completed within weeks. But the process has taken longer than expected, leading to some frustration among Republicans.

Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz noted Wednesday on Twitter how long the review process has taken.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows asked Dan Coats, the director of ODNI, on April 10 about the status of the review.

It is not clear if Coats responded to the Republican lawmakers.

“ODNI’s longstanding practice with Congress is to review potentially classified information before it is publicly released to ensure that no classified information is inadvertently disclosed. At the request of HPSCI, ODNI initiated a review of the dozens of transcripts provided by the Committee to ensure maximum transparency while protecting classified information,” the ODNI spokesperson told TheDCNF.

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