Schiff says he’s seen “no evidence” that Trump declassified documents found at Mar-a-Lago

Schiff says he’s seen “no evidence” that Trump declassified documents found at Mar-a-Lago


Washington — Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, head of the House Intelligence Committee, stated Sunday that he has not seen proof that former President Donald Trump declassified documents that had been found by the FBI throughout a search of his South Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, final week.

“We should determine, you know, whether there was any effort during the presidency to go through the process of declassification,” Schiff stated in an interview on “Face the Nation.” “I’ve seen no evidence of that, nor have they presented any evidence of that.”

After the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s residence, prompting outrage from the previous president and his Republican allies, a federal Justice of the Peace choose in Florida unsealed Friday the warrant and record of things it seized within the search.

According to the information made public, the FBI took 11 units of categorized documents, a few of which had been designated prime secret, secret and confidential, in addition to TS/SCI, or prime secret/delicate compartmented info. 

The former president’s attorneys didn’t object to the discharge of the search warrant and associated documents, and he claimed all of the information seized in the course of the search had been declassified whereas he was nonetheless in office.

While a sitting president has broad declassification authority, Schiff famous that doesn’t prolong to a former president and referred to as it “absurd” for Trump to say he retroactively declassified the documents he took to Mar-a-Lago.

He additionally famous the statutes the Justice Department stated within the warrant it’s investigating Trump for probably violating don’t require info to be categorized.

“If they would be damaging to national security, it’s a problem. It’s a major problem,” the California Democrat stated.

Schiff additionally stated it is a “serious problem” if Trump’s attorneys licensed to the Justice Department that all categorized info was retrieved when the National Archives and Records Administration obtained 15 containers from Mar-a-Lago in mid-January, however didn’t flip over all categorized or nationwide safety info. Some of the containers the National Archives retrieved contained categorized materials and the company requested the Justice Department examine Trump’s dealing with of White House information.

“I can tell you anyone in the intelligence community that had documents like that marked top secret/SCI, in their residence after authorities went to them, you know, they would be under serious investigation,” he stated.

Schiff and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, head of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, requested Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines conduct a briefing and harm evaluation, which he stated is routine when there was a disclosure of categorized info. 

“What is, to me, most disturbing here is the degree to which at least from the public reporting, it appears to be willful, on the president’s part, the keeping of these documents after the government was requesting them back,” he stated. “And that adds another layer of concern.”

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