OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The feds have responded to a claim by former President Donald Trump in which he said they took his passports.
“In the raid by the FBI of Mar-a-Lago, they stole my three Passports (one expired), along with everything else,” the former president said in a post on Truth Social.
“According to a DOJ official, the FBI is NOT in possession of former President Trump’s passports,” CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell said in a tweet. “We are also learning tonight that if any items not contained in the warrant were retrieved during the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago, they will be returned.”
We are also learning tonight that if any items not contained in the warrant were retrieved during the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago, they will be returned.
— Norah O'Donnell 🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) August 15, 2022
This left the question: was the former president lying or mistaken? O had O’Donnell made a mistake? The answer was neither.
“We have learned that the filter agents seized three passports belonging to President Trump, two expired and one being his active diplomatic passport,” a screenshot of an alleged email from Justice Department counterintelligence chief Jay Bratt read in a tweet response to O’Donnell by a Trump spokesperson. “We are returning them, and they will be ready for pickup at WFO at 2 pm today. I am traveling, but you can coordinate further with [redacted] copied above. Thanks.”
Not even going to delete the original post?https://t.co/ZzeGCGvPdk
— JRL 🇺🇸 (@Jasonrobertlee) August 16, 2022
Breitbart News reporter Joel Pollack called it a “flagrant violation of the Constitution.”
“This is pathetic: aside from her botched “scoop” this suggests the FBI is out of control. They took whatever they could because they were looking for information to incriminate Trump, not just documents. A flagrant violation of the Constitution but gosh here’s your passport back!” he said.
This is pathetic: aside from her botched "scoop" this suggests the FBI is out of control. They took whatever they could because they were looking for information to incriminate Trump, not just documents. A flagrant violation of the Constitution but gosh here's your passport back! https://t.co/Hho8nquEcs
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) August 15, 2022
Late Friday, the FBI finally revealed what more than two dozen agents took from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate during a raid on Monday.
According to reports, agents recovered 11 sets of documents that were marked as classified, including some that were labeled “Top Secret.”
That said, Trump noted on his Truth Social platform on Friday that he, as president, had already declassified the documents that were confiscated by agents.
“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,” the former president posted.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “The list includes references to one set of documents marked as ‘Various classified/TS/SCI documents,’ an abbreviation that refers to top-secret/sensitive compartmented information.
“It also says agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents, and three sets of confidential documents. The list didn’t provide any more details about the substance of the documents,” the Journal added.
“The warrant said investigators were seeking all records that could be evidence of violations of laws governing the gathering, transmitting or losing of classified information; the removal of official government records; and the destruction of records in a federal investigation,” the paper continued.
The report said that in all, agents removed around 20 boxes of materials.
They included “binders of photos, a handwritten note and the executive grant of clemency for Mr. Trump’s ally Roger Stone, a list of items removed from the property shows. Also included in the list was information about the ‘President of France,’” the paper continued.
“Mr. Trump’s lawyers argue that the former president used his authority to declassify the material before he left office. While a president has the power to declassify documents, there are federal regulations that lay out a process for doing so.”
According to Taylor Budowich, Trump’s spokesman, in a statement to the Journal: “The Biden administration is in obvious damage control after their botched raid where they seized the President’s picture books, a ‘handwritten note,’ and declassified documents.”
“This raid of President Trump’s home was not just unprecedented, but unnecessary,” Budowich added.