Trump: A President Can Declassify Documents 'Even by Thinking About It' (Newsmax)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 22 September 2022 09:05 AM EDT
Former President Donald Trump maintains that a president can declassify documents just by even "thinking about it."
Trump made his comments during a Wednesday interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity. The remarks were in reference to the documents seized during an FBI raid of his South Florida estate on Aug. 8.
Trump said documents taken out of the White House to his Mar-a-Lago home were declassified when he was in office.
"There doesn't have to be a process [for declassifying documents] as I understand it," 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.
"You're the president — you make that decision."
Prosecutors have said that about 100 of the documents taken from Mar-a-Lago were marked classified, including some labeled top secret, The Washington Post noted.
"I don't think this is prosecutable." Trump said. "I don't see how they can prosecute me."
Trump recalled how he first learned the FBI was at his estate.
The former president said he was in New Jersey and was called by a Mar-a-Lago employee the morning of Aug. 8 who told him that "many, many people" from the FBI were at his Palm Beach resort.
"I couldn't believe it," he said. "They wanted to do it quietly, silently," Trump said of the FBI raid. He said that by 4 p.m. his office received calls from the media asking about "people standing at the gates with AK-47s."
He also claimed during the interview the possibility of "chain of custody" issues with the material taken from Mar-a-Lago,
"The problem that you have is they go into rooms, they won't let anybody near them, they wouldn't even let them in the same building. Did they drop anything into those piles, or did they do it later?"
Trump added: "There's also a lot of speculation because of what they did … were they looking for the Hillary Clinton emails that were deleted but are around someplace?"