This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire
. The author of this post is Tim Pearce
Publisher's Note: This series of posts on this one issue - The Unprecedented FBI Raid of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago Estate - can all be found here on ENC NOW.
Some of the classified documents taken by the FBI from former President Donald Trump's home in Florida reportedly relate to sensitive U.S. intelligence on Iran and China.
The documents previously stored at Mar-a-Lago could reveal sensitive U.S. sources and methods of intelligence gathering if they were made public or obtained by hostile actors, sources familiar with the contents of those documents told The Washington Post. At least one of the documents contained information related to Iran's missile program, the sources said.
Federal agents seized 103 classified documents from Mar-a-Lago, Trump's Florida residence and resort, in an August raid. Eighteen of those documents have been identified as top secret, the highest level of classification for sensitive material.
The Washington Post reported last month that agents had found papers having to do with a foreign nation's nuclear capabilities in the trove of documents seized from Mar-a-Lago.
The FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago on August 8 stemmed out of a dispute between the National Archives and Trump. After Trump left the White House in January 2021, the archives noticed that some documents from Trump's presidency were not stored at the archives as required by law. Federal agents later came to believe that the missing documents were being stored at Mar-a-Lago along with classified documents containing sensitive material.
The FBI seized tens of thousands of pages of documents along with a series of other objects, including books, gifts, clothing, and news articles. The bureau is conducting an investigation into Trump and his aids' handling of the classified materials.
Trump has claimed that none of what was removed from Mar-a-Lago was classified material. He has stated that a president's declassification authority is broad and vaguely defined. In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity last month, Trump said that according to some experts, he could declassify documents just by "thinking about it."
"There doesn't have to be a process, as I understand it. You know, different people say different things, but as I understand there doesn't have to be,"
Trump said. "If you're the President of the United States, you can declassify just by saying it's declassified. Even by thinking about it, because you're sending it to Mar-a-Lago or to wherever you're sending it."
That explanation has not appeared to sway Judge Raymond Dearie, who was appointed to serve as special master in the case by Judge Aileen Cannon last month. Dearie is responsible for reviewing everything seized from Mar-a-Lago, but the classified material. He will mediate claims of privileged materials claimed by Trump.
During a court hearing last month, Dearie appeared to favor the Department of Justice's argument that 103 pages of classified material taken from Mar-a-Lago were never declassified.
"How am I going to verify the classification? ... What business is it of the court?"
Dearie asked Trump's legal team. Dearie said that the Justice Department had presented "prima facie evidence"
that the records were classified. "As far as I'm concerned, that's the end of it,"
Trump's legal team said it could not submit evidence of declassification at that time. "We're not in a position nor should we be in a position at this juncture to fully disclose a substantive defense,"
Trump attorney Jim Trusty said.