Former President Donald Trump addressed the FBI’s raid last month on his Florida home at Mar-a-Lago during a Fox News interview Wednesday night where he said that he had the ability to declassify documents by just “thinking about it.”
The sections of the U.S. criminal code that were cited on the search warrant indicated that the investigation centered around matters unrelated to whether the documents in question were declassified or not. The sections of the of the U.S. criminal code that were cited included potential violations of the Espionage Act, the unlawful taking of government records, and obstruction of justice related to destroying documents.
“I did declassify,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity during an interview at Mar-a-Lago.
“Is there a process — what was your process to declassify?” Hannity asked.
“There doesn’t have to be a process, as I understand it. You know, there’s — different people say different things, but as I understand there doesn’t have to be,” Trump said. “If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying it’s declassified. Even by thinking about it, because you’re sending it to Mar-a-Lago or to wherever you’re sending it.”
“And there doesn’t have to be a process. There can be a process, but there doesn’t have to be. You’re the president, you make that decision. So when you send it, it’s declassified. I declassified everything,” Trump continued. “Now, I declassified things, and we were having a lot of problems with NARA. You know, NARA is a radical Left group of people running that thing, and when you send documents over there, I would say there’s a very good chance that a lot of those documents will never be seen again.”
Hannity later came back to the issue of declassifying documents, asking, “why did you approve a special master that signed one of the FISA warrants? That was surprising.”
“Well, the lawyers had a lot — I didn’t know any of the people involved. But, you know, if you look at it, he was stung badly by that because the FBI lied to him and the people in the Justice Department lied to him,” Trump said. “So, if you think about it, yes, he approved it and he got stung very, very badly by that.”
“But I declassified the documents when they left the White House,” Trump added. “In other words, when they left the White House, they were declassified.”