In Hannity interview, Trump claims he can declassify documents ‘even by thinking about it’

Written by on September 22, 2022

Former President Donald Trump mentioned in a broadcast interview Wednesday that he can declassify paperwork “even by fascinated with it.”

“There doesn’t should be a course of, as I perceive it,” Trump informed Fox Information’ Sean Hannity, after Hannity pressed him on which course of he took to declassify the paperwork.

He continued, “In the event you’re the president of the USA, you’ll be able to declassify simply by saying it’s declassified, even by fascinated with it.”

Presidents are considered to be ultimately responsible for classifying and declassifying materials, and there’s a course of for doing so. However there may be nonetheless “exceedingly delicate data that’s required by regulation to be shielded from unauthorized disclosure,” J. William Leonard, the previous head of the U.S. Nationwide Archives’ Info Safety Oversight Workplace, informed USA TODAY.

Trump’s feedback got here before the ruling from the appeals court authorizing the Division of Justice to overview the 100 categorized paperwork he took. The court docket mentioned that though the previous president has mentioned he declassified the paperwork earlier than he left workplace, there aren’t any data of it. 

“In any occasion, not less than for these functions, the declassification argument is a purple herring as a result of declassifying an official doc wouldn’t change its content material or render it private,” the court docket mentioned. 

This image, contained in a court filing by the Department of Justice and redacted in part by the FBI, shows a photo of documents seized during the search on Aug. 8, 2022, by the FBI of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

Investigation:Appeals court grants DOJ investigative access to classified documents seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

Declassified paperwork:‘Astounding’: Trump documents reveal casual disregard for long-standing security protocols

The Hannity interview was the previous president’s first sit-down interview since his Mar-a-Lago search, the Washington Post reported.

It also came the same day that a lawsuit was filed against him in New York. New York Lawyer Basic Letitia James accused Trump of fraud after a three-year inquiry into the funds of his household enterprise.

Court documents released since the FBI’s Aug. 8 search of Trump’s house in Florida confirmed that he stored categorized paperwork marked “secret” and “high secret.” 

The FBI seized paperwork as a part of an ongoing investigation which will contain prison legal guidelines prohibiting improper elimination of delicate paperwork and obstruction of justice.

Contributing: George Petras and Stephen J. Beard

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