Trump Has ‘Different Set of Rules’ for Declassifying Docs
- McCaul says “a different set of rules” applies to Trump regarding the declassification of documents.
- While on ABC, McCaul said he wouldn’t personally transport such materials to his residence.
- Trump last month claimed that he declassified the documents that were found at Mar-a-Lago.
GOP Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas on Sunday said that while he wouldn’t personally take classified materials to his personal residence, he argued during an interview that “a different set of rules” applied to former President Donald Trump.
During an interview on ABC’s “This Week” with co-anchor Martha Raddatz, McCaul — a former federal prosecutor and the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee — said that while he had extensive experience handling sensitive documents, he also had never served as Commander-in-chief.
“You know, I have lived in the classified world most of my professional career, I personally wouldn’t do that,” he said of transporting classified materials to his residence. “But I’m not the president of the United States.”
He continued: “He has a different set of rules that apply to him. I know they were taken out of the White House while he was president and whether or not he declassified those documents remains to be seen. He says he did. I don’t have all the facts there.”
Last month, the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, where federal officials retrieved several boxes of classified and top secret documents.
The subsequent release of the search revealed that agents were looking for documents connected to potential violations of the Espionage Act, which bars the unauthorized removal of defense-related information that could aid a foreign government. Trump is also being investigated for possible obstruction of justice violations.
The documents — regardless of whether or not they were considered to be classified — were supposed to be turned over to the National Archives upon the former president’s departure from the Oval Office, per the Presidential Records Act.
Last month, Trump said that the documents taken by agents were “declassified,” but over a dozen ex-Trump, White House officials disputed his claims.
McCaul later in the interview remarked that he “didn’t have all the facts” regarding the FBI search.
“I know they were taken out of the White House while he was president and whether or not he declassified those documents remains to be seen,” he said. “He says he did. I don’t have all the facts there.”
“There is a process for declassification. But again, the president’s in a very different position than most of us in the national security space. We — the relevant committees on the Hill — have asked for briefings on this to find out what was so important here from a national security standpoint that would merit such an extreme measure to have a search warrant on a former president of the United States,” he added.