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Judge suggests White House counsel is overriding Trump's position on Russia docs

October 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

GREENVILLE, NC - OCTOBER 15: President Donald Trump makes remarks about the media during a Make America Great Again rally at the Pitt-Greenville Airport on October 15, 2020 in Greenville, North Carolina. Thousands of people joined to listen to the president 19 days before the 2020 presidential election. (Photo by Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images)

A federal judge -- sensing the White House may be overriding the orders of President Donald Trump as he flails against the Russia investigation -- has given the Justice Department five days to explain Trump's true wishes on declassifying all Mueller investigation documents.

(CNN)A federal judge -- sensing the White House may be overriding the orders of President Donald Trump as he flails against the Russia investigation -- has given the Justice Department five days to explain Trump's true wishes on declassifying all Mueller investigation documents.

Walton said in court Friday he needed to know what the President actually wanted -- and if Trump would "retract" his public statements ordering the documents' release.

When pressed by Walton on Friday, Justice Department lawyer Courtney Enlow struggled to explain if the White House counsel's office is overriding the President by not releasing classified material in the Mueller records, including FBI witness interview memos called 302s that CNN and Buzzfeed have pursued and received in monthly releases since 2019.

The court hearing highlighted a possible split between the White House counsel's office and the President it serves, with DOJ calling the White House decision not to declassify the "official position," Enlow said.

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