Former President Donald Trump disputed newly released reports Friday, claiming all of the documents seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at Mar-a-Lago were declassified.
A seven-page document obtained by the Daily Caller revealed the list of items that the FBI seized and the search warrant signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart. The list said the FBI recovered 11 sets of classified documents from Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago residence Monday evening.
The former president said, however, that none of the documents were classified and could have been handed over, had they been requested.
“Number one, it was all declassified. Number two, they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything,” Trump said in the statement. “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. They could have had it anytime they wanted — and that includes LONG ago. ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK. The bigger problem is, what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”
Full statement here: pic.twitter.com/LJGKzgwdQc
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) August 12, 2022
The report discovered that the FBI warrant permitted them to search “the 45 office,” and “storage rooms and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or available to be used” by Trump and his staff, according to the search warrant. The agents at the scene retrieved around 20 boxes of binders, a handwritten note and the executive grant of clemency for Roger Stone, information about the President of France, and binders of photographs. (RELATED: ‘Got Way Ahead Of Themselves’: Trump Tears Into Raid After Merrick Garland Speech)
The search revolved around a previous National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) request asking the former president to hand over 15 boxes of classified White House documents. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said during a Thursday address that he “personally approved” of the FBI obtaining a search warrant, believing that the former president still held classified information inside his private residence.
NARA issued a statement Friday regarding Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama brought home classified information after leaving office. The agency said they have “exclusive legal and physical custody” of Obama-era presidential records.
“NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington DC, area,” the statement said. “As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”
Trump’s attorney, Christina Bobb, said Friday that her client’s legal counsel in Washington D.C. was subpoenaed for the release of any classified material. She said, to her knowledge, that the former president and his counsel fully cooperated by turning over all requested material to the FBI.