OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Reports suggest there may have been a “standing order” during former President Donald Trump’s administration that could throw a wrench in the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago last week.
Trump’s office argued that all documents taken to the Florida estate were declassified under an order by the then-president.
“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 the work the next day, often took documents including classified documents to the residence. He had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken to the residence were deemed to be declassified the moment he removed them,” the statement said, according to the Washington Examiner.
“The power to classify and declassify documents rests solely with the president of the United States,” the statement concluded. “The idea that some paper-pushing bureaucrat with classification authority delegated by the president needs to approve the declassification is absurd.”
In a post on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump argued the documents were “all declassified.”
“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,” Trump said in a written statement. “They could have had it anytime they wanted — and that includes LONG ago. ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”
While Trump’s team argued the president can legally implement a blanket declassification policy, liberal lawyer Bradley P. Moss argued he couldn’t.
For those in the back who have not been listening, let me say this one last time. Declassification had to be done and completed for each individual document before noon on 1/2/2021.
No indication Trump made sure that was done for these docs. A verbal statement is not enough. https://t.co/cDjdLacL0p
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) August 12, 2022
The search warrant stated that the raid of Mar-a-Lago was based on a potential violation of the Espionage Act, along with the possibility of an obstruction of justice complaint.
The official talking point is that the raid was about the potential mishandling of classified documents by Trump.
However, former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy posited the raid was in reality about the Capitol incident in January 2021.
“I do not believe the DOJ contemplates prosecuting a former president for mishandling classified information, much less purloining other government records. I especially doubt it when we are talking about a former president who could be the Republican candidate opposing the incumbent Democratic president in the next election,” he wrote.
“Still, regardless of whether the DOJ actually intends to prosecute a classified-information offense, mishandling classified information is still a federal crime. And a federal crime — any federal crime — can be the predicate for a U.S. court-authorized search warrant.”
A former Trump administration figure has offered an idea on who he believes tipped off the FBI prior to the bureau raiding former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida earlier this week.
During an interview on CNN, Mick Mulvaney, who served as acting chief of staff during Trump’s presidency, said he believes someone within Trump’s circle could have tipped off the FBI ahead of the raid.
Eric Trump revealed last week that security cameras at Mar-a-Lago captured FBI agents “behaving improperly” during the raid on Donald Trump’s home.
The former president’s son alleged that agents were accessing parts of Donald Trump’s Florida residence that they “shouldn’t have been.”
Eric Trump said staff refused to turn off the surveillance cameras at the request of the FBI and that they captured agents raiding areas that they weren’t authorized to.
He also said the FBI agents broke into Donald Trump’s personal safe at Mar-a-Lago but that it was empty.
He told Fox News Channel‘s Brian Kilmeade that the safe was “empty” and that over two dozen FBI agents were involved in the raid.