According to official sources, on Monday the FBI raided the residence of former president Donald Trump in search of intelligence’sources and methods’ materials.
Documents involving intelligence sources, procedures, or analytical processes that require access control mechanisms established by the Director of National Intelligence are deemed compartmented.
In such situations, a warrant or receipt would not be able to convey much about what was stolen, as they would be known to just a small group of persons.
According to a report published by the FBI on Friday, eleven sets of sensitive papers were retrieved at Mar-a-Lago on Monday.
According to the Wall Street Journal, an inventory of the search revealed the existence of ‘top-secret’ papers that would normally be stored in specialized government facilities.
The Daily Mail said that“Agents recovered 20 boxes in total from the Florida estate, according to the report, with the rest including handwritten notes, photo binders, the grant of clemency of Roger Stone and a file with ‘information on the President of France.’
According to the warrant, four sets of top-secret papers, three sets of secret documents, and three sets of confidential documents were recovered from Trump’s office and all storage places on the property.
According to former President Trump’s counsel, he declassified the records shortly before leaving office. Whatever president may declassify any document he or she chooses. This procedure is controlled by federal regulations.
Trump stated on Friday that every material in his possession had been declassified.
He began his post with a reference to previous President Obama and secret papers, stating:
“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!”
‘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,’ he said on Truth Social.
‘…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?’ he proceeded.
Former Chief Counsel for Nominations for the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Law Clerk for Justice Gorsuch Mike Davis confirmed that all papers at Mar-a-Lago are in fact declassified.
“Before Attorney General Merrick Garland’s spin: The President of the United States has both the constitutional (and statutory) power to declassify anything he wants. If President Trump left the White House with classified records, they are declassified by his actions. Period.”
Before Attorney General Merrick Garland's spin:
The President of the United States has both the constitutional (and statutory) power to declassify anything he wants.
If President Trump left the White House with classified records, they are declassified by his actions.
— 🇺🇸 Mike Davis 🇺🇸 (@mrddmia) August 11, 2022
Davis stated, “As a matter of law, no President can be charged under the Espionage Act for “mishandling” classified records. When President Trump had the records sent to Mar-a-Lago, they were declassified. Former presidents don’t have this power. But Trump did this as the President.”
Presidents have the inherent constitutional (and statutory) authority to declassify anything they want.
They don’t need to label it.
They don’t need to report it.
They don’t have to tell anyone.
They can do it through their actions.
— 🇺🇸 Mike Davis 🇺🇸 (@mrddmia) August 11, 2022
Even the left-leaning “fact-checking” website Politifact acknowledged that presidents can declassify at their discretion:
The president’s classification and declassification powers are broad.
The president, as commander in chief, is ultimately responsible for classification and declassification. When someone lower in the chain of command handles classification and declassification duties — which is usually how it’s done — it’s because they have been delegated to do so by the president directly, or by an appointee chosen by the president.
The majority ruling in the 1988 Supreme Court case Department of Navy v. Egan — which involved the legal recourse of a Navy employee who had been denied a security clearance — addresses this line of authority.
“The president, after all, is the ‘Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States’” according to Article II of the Constitution, the court’s majority wrote. “His authority to classify and control access to information bearing on national security … flows primarily from this constitutional investment of power in the president, and exists quite apart from any explicit congressional grant.”
Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy, told PolitiFact in 2017 that such authority gives the president the authority to “classify and declassify at will.”
Robert F. Turner, associate director of the University of Virginia’s Center for National Security Law, told us in 2017 that “if Congress were to enact a statute seeking to limit the president’s authority to classify or declassify national security information, or to prohibit him from sharing certain kinds of information … it would raise serious separation of powers constitutional issues.”
The official documents governing classification and declassification stem from presidential executive orders. But even these executive orders aren’t necessarily binding on a president. The president is not “obliged to follow any procedures other than those that he himself has prescribed,” Aftergood said. “And he can change those.”
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
The situation recalls the “infamous comment” by President Richard Nixon that “when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” But national-security specialists at the blog Lawfare wrote that this “is actually true about some things. Classified information is one of them. The nature of the system is that the president gets to disclose what he wants.”
If a president’s appointees disagree with those actions, the president “can overrule their decisions,” Turner said. “Within the executive branch, the president is the boss.” CONTINUE READING…