A new detail about the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach estate casts doubt on whether the platoon of government agents actually recovered any classified information.
The conservative website JustTheNews.com (JTN) reported on Saturday that Trump had a “standing order” to declassify certain sensitive materials so he could take them with him and continue working.
JTN attributed that development to a statement from Trump’s office.
The website noted that Trump’s office said the former president acted in accord with legal principles established by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. They each signed executive orders that declared the president and vice president the “ultimate declassifying authority of the U.S. government.”
Doing so meant the president sidestepped the rigorous declassification procedures for everyone else in the federal government.
The statement issued to JTN by Trump’s office noted, “The very fact that these documents were present at Mar-a-Lago means they couldn’t have been classified. As we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different. President Trump, in order to prepare for work the next day, often took documents including classified documents from the Oval Office to the residence.”
“He had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken into the residence were deemed to be declassified,” Trump’s office statement continued.
“The power to classify and declassify documents rests solely with the President of the United States. The idea that some paper-pushing bureaucrat, with classification authority delegated BY THE PRESIDENT, needs to approve of declassification is absurd.”
JTN contacted an unnamed former Trump White House aide about whether the “standing order” existed. “I don’t know anyone or anything that disputes that,” he replied.
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Trump has claimed all the material seized by the FBI had been declassified already.
On his social media platform Truth Social on Friday, the former president posted, “Number one, it was all declassified. Number two, they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”
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