Presidents can declassify documents just by thinking about it

Presidents can declassify documents just by thinking about it
Presidents can declassify documents just by thinking about it

Trump is hiding behind presidential powers (Jim Watson/AFP)

Former US President Donald Trump claimed during a television interview that the documents he took with him to his Florida resort were declassified while he was still in the White House.

And the “Washington Post” newspaper said that Trump stressed, in his first television appearance since the judiciary allowed a search of his resort last month, yesterday, Wednesday, that any documents transferred from the White House to his home in Mar-a-Lago have been declassified, adding that any president can declassify them. Sensitive documents “once you think about it”.

Trump continued, saying in the interview with “Fox News”: “There is no need for a (declassification) procedure, as I understand it. However, the Washington Post indicated in its report that the investigators who raided Mar-a-Lago said that about 100 of the documents The confiscation was stamped with a “secret” stamp, after which it was stamped “very secret”.

And the former Republican president added, “If you are the president of the United States, you can lift the secrecy just by saying that secrecy has been lifted,” stressing that “you are the president and you are the one who makes the decision.”

Trump’s comments came shortly before New York State Attorney General Letitia James filed a civil lawsuit against Trump and three of his children on Wednesday as part of an investigation into the tax practices of his “Trump Organization” group, narrowing the judicial cordon around the former Republican president. And shortly before, yesterday, Wednesday, a federal court allowed the Ministry of Justice to continue reviewing some of the confiscated documents.

This ruling constituted a setback for the former president after the Justice Department approved his request to appoint an independent expert to review the thousands of documents seized by the FBI, ending a dispute that had so far prevented federal investigators from scrutinizing the seizures.

During the television interview with “Fox News”, Trump continued to repeat his allegations that the open judicial files against him are politically motivated and that they are a “witch hunt” that has been cooking for him since the first day he decided to run for the presidency.

Regarding the FBI investigation into the Mar-a-Lago documents, Trump said he had “declassified everything.” He stressed that he did not personally collect any documents in boxes upon leaving the White House. He added that those who do this are employees of the General Services Administration, referring to the agency that plays a pivotal role at the moment of the transfer of power from one US president to another, according to the “Washington Post.”

The Washington Post had previously reported that one of the classified documents seized by the FBI at Trump’s resort contained a description of the nuclear capabilities and military defenses of a foreign power. It quoted sources familiar with the case, that some of the documents in Mar-a-Lago were so secret that only the president and government officials or close to that are allowed to authorize other government officials to view them.

At the end of his term, the former president was supposed to turn over the documents and blogs in his possession, which also included correspondence from former President Barack Obama, but instead transferred them to Mar-a-Lago. The recovery of the documents has raised questions about Trump’s compliance with presidential records laws established after the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, under which presidents are required to keep records of their work.

The article is in Arabic

Tags: Presidents declassify documents thinking

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