Donald Trump has claimed that presidents can declassify documents by thought alone.
Speaking To Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an interview aired on Wednesday, the former US president said, “Different people say different things but if I understand correctly, if you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying that It’s declassified, even thinking about it.
“Because you send him to Mar-a-Lago or wherever you send him. There doesn’t have to be a process. There may be a process, but it is not mandatory.
“You are the president – you make that decision.”
The FBI searched Mar-a-Lago in August. Prosecutors said about 100 documents found at Trump’s Florida resort were listed as classified. Some have been labeled top secret. Some related to nuclear weapons.
Many observers believe an indictment is looming. Trump tried to delay the investigation but on Wednesday the appellate judges said it could continue during the examination of the documents.
The examining judge, Raymond Cherietold Trump’s lawyers this week that they must provide evidence that the documents in question had been declassified – or he will assume they have not.
Sweetheart said“I guess my view is that you can’t have your cake and eat it.”
Trump has always claimed to have declassified the documents by presidential decree, whether physically, by taking them to the White House residence, verbally or, he now claims, by the power of telepathy alone.
“In other words, when I left the White House, they were declassified,” he told Hannity.
Experts doubt it. In August, Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, a secrecy expert, told the New York Times“Hypothetical questions like, ‘What if a president thinks something is declassified? Does this change its status? are so speculative that their practical significance is negligible.
“It’s a logical mess. The system is not intended to be deployed so arbitrarily.
Trump also told Hannity “there was nothing hiding” as boxes were packed to be taken to Mar-a-Lago from the White House in Washington.
The former president said he does not pack any boxes himself.