A report that documents marked “classified” were found at former President Trump’s Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, is misleading, according to former top Trump official Kash Patel, who says the documents in question were already declassified by President Trump, but the markings had not yet been updated.
“Trump declassified whole sets of materials in anticipation of leaving government that he thought the American public should have the right to read themselves,” Patel told Breitbart News.
“The White House counsel failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings, but that doesn’t mean the information wasn’t declassified,” Patel explained, adding, “I was there with President Trump when he said ‘We are declassifying this information.'”
“The story is just another disinformation campaign designed to break the public trust in a president that lived on transparency,” Patel said. “It’s yet another way to attack Trump and say he took classified information when he did not.”
In February, NBC News reported that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) discovered among boxes sent to Mar-a-Lago items “marked as classified national security information.”
Trump fires back at ‘scam’ after National Archives says he took classified docs: ‘They did not find anything…’ https://t.co/mcK0DSofU0 pic.twitter.com/IsnlGcU0bi
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 19, 2022
As BizPac Review reported at the time, NARA had collected 15 boxes from Trump’s home in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA), sparking rumors of yet another Trump-involved scandal among Democrats and on mainstream media.
Before the contents of the collected records were even made known, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security and member of the notorious Jan. 6 Committee, wanted to make a criminal referral to the Justice Department.
Never one to shy away from an accusation, Trump issued a scathing statement, claiming the request, which was promptly fulfilled, was “an ordinary and routine” process and that Democrats were “in search of their next Scam.”
“The Fake News is making it seem like me, as the President of the United States, was working in a filing room,” Trump stated. “No, I was busy destroying ISIS, building the greatest economy America had ever seen, brokering Peace deals, making sure Russia didn’t attack Ukraine, making sure China didn’t take over Taiwan, making sure there was no inflation, creating an energy independent country, rebuilding our military and law enforcement, saving our Second Amendment, protecting our Border, and cutting taxes.”
President Donald J. Trump:
“The National Archives did not “find” anything, they were given, upon request, Presidential Records in an ordinary and routine process to ensure the preservation of my legacy and in accordance with the Presidential Records Act. If this was… pic.twitter.com/XhjZeX2ujy
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) February 19, 2022
“The story says the National Archives found the documents had classification markings on them,” Patel told Breitbart. “That doesn’t mean that they were not declassified. All previously classified documents have classification markings on them, it shows they used to be classified.”
“It’s petty bureaucracy at its finest,” Patel continued, “government simpletons not following a president’s orders to have them marked ‘declassified.’ The president has unilateral authority to declassify documents — anything in government. He exercised it here in full.”
“[For] NBC to make a leap to say, ‘Well that means he released classified information,’ is completely false,” Patel said. “So I think the article is entirely misleading.”
Not only, to Patel’s knowledge, did NARA not discuss the documents with anyone at the Trump White House to confirm whether or not they had been declassified, NARA is now refusing to release the documents to the public, as per Trump’s wishes.
“They are not a classification authority,” Patel said. “I don’t believe they have unilateral authority to reclassify something the president declassified. They are the holder of records.”
While Patel didn’t share the details of the documents in question, due to a belief that the left would only claim he, too, was disclosing “classified” information, he did say they contained information “of great public importance.”
“It’s information that Trump felt spoke to matters regarding everything from Russiagate to the Ukraine impeachment fiasco to major national security matters of great public importance — anything the president felt the American people had a right to know is in there and more,” Patel stated.
“The irony is that he didn’t try to hide any of it,” Patel said when asked if he thought Democrats may now selectively leak the documents and claim Trump was attempting to hide things. “He declassified all of it so there’s nothing to hide.”
However, said Patel, “given this week’s Supreme Court leak, you can’t put it past anyone at NARA or Congress who might have some of these documents and leak them to advance a false political narrative.”
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