Opinion: So Far, There Is No Evidence That Trump Properly Declassified the Documents Found during the FBI Search

Daniella Cressman

11 sets of classified documents have been found at Trump's Mar-a-Lago property and many are concerned.

Trump has responded to the incident by claiming that all of these documents—which included top-secret/compartmented information—has been declassified, but there is currently no evidence to substantiate his claims.

"[Adam] Schiff and House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney have asked U.S. intelligence to provide a damage assessment of the seized records. They include the U.S. government’s top secrecy rating of 'top secret/sensitive compartmented information,' according to a search warrant inventory unsealed Friday." —Katia Dmitrieva

Trump's base is, naturally, up in arms, but that does not change the reality of the situation at hand.

That being said, Adam Schiff wants to determine whether there were any efforts to declassify the documents during Mr. Trump's presidency.

"Schiff and House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney have asked U.S. intelligence to provide a damage assessment of the seized records. They include the U.S. government’s top secrecy rating of 'top secret/sensitive compartmented information,' according to a search warrant inventory unsealed Friday." —Katia Dmitrieva

While a president can initiate the declassification process, the original classifying agency must complete it.

"While a president can request or initiate a declassification, the original classifying agency 'must undergo a process to complete the declassification.” —Barbara McQuade

Based on the warrant, prosecutors have indicated that they are exploring Trump's possible violations of the federal Espionage Act, among others.

Trumps latest argument? The documents are covered by attorney-client privilege.

"In Trump’s latest response to the search on his Truth Social platform, he argued that the documents were covered by attorney-client privilege or executive privilege and shouldn’t have been taken. Fox News earlier reported Trump’s team 'was informed' that some boxes and documents were covered by attorney-client privilege." —Katia Dmitrieva

He has demanded that the FBI return these documents.

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM
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