Trump greenlights Russia-related records access for conservative-favored journalist

Last updated on July 4, 2022

Former President Donald Trump has told the National Archives to grant journalist John Solomon access to non-public administration records, according to Solomon and a spokesperson for the former president.

Solomon said Trump specifically directed the Archives to give him access to documents related to the Russia probe that were declassified in the final days of his administration. And he said the Archives have been cooperative and accommodating.

“They’re great,” Solomon said. “They’re amazing people, and they have access to incredible crown jewels of history.”

Kash Patel, a former National Security Council official, has also been granted access. The Trump spokesperson said both men have officially been named NARA representatives.

Solomon, who founded an online publication called Just the News, has long been a favorite of conservative media figures and politicians. He has appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show countless times and worked closely with Rudy Giuliani associates on stories related to Ukraine and Hunter Biden, according to ProPublica.

He was cited frequently during Trump’s first impeachment, when conservative lawmakers and others pointed to his coverage of Hunter Biden to defend Trump’s pressure on the Ukrainian president to investigate the Bidens.

Solomon told POLITICO that it’s not the first time he’s secured access to non-public records at the Archives. He said he did the same thing 30 years ago, gaining access to former President Richard Nixon’s archives and looking at non-public documents that resulted in damaging revelations about Ross Perot.

“There are some non-public documents that the president declassified before he left,” Solomon said. “I’ve been public about my efforts to get my hands on them. The president gave me permission to go research those documents at the National Archives.”

He said this work is for a narrow, targeted research project, and not on Trump’s behalf — that he is “going in as a journalist” to get documents of “great public interest.”

“John Solomon and Kash Patel have been named NARA representatives. They will work to make available to the American people previously declassified documents that reveal a clear conspiracy to unlawfully spy on candidate and then President Donald J. Trump — by the FBI, DOJ, and others — the largest state-sponsored criminality in American history,” said Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington.

“These documents have wrongfully been hidden by bureaucrats for over 4 years. We owe all Americans transparency and accountability, our government should never hide its own corruption with false claims of classification,” she continued. “Everyone should be eager to read this information, so this never happens again, to anyone, let alone a president of the United States.”

The Jan. 6 select committee has also obtained a huge tranche of records from the Archives in its probe of the Capitol attack and Trump’s attempt to subvert election results. The former president fought those efforts, citing