Donald Trump has come close to being punished for his actions without being busted so many times he must feel invincible. But this time, the jig really might be up. On Monday, the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago, emerging with 11 boxes of intel. Later in the week, sources claimed that among the items were highly classified documents pertaining to nuclear weapons. Trump has predictably railed madly against the claims, but, as per Raw Story, it looks like he’s found his defense — even if it’s inaccurate.
On Friday, John Solomon, former Washington Times editor-in-chief and MAGA insider, went on Fox News and read a statement reportedly given to him by Trump’s organization. The statement, from an unnamed member of his orbit, claimed he had a “standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken into the residence were deemed to be declassified.” As such, any document he’d taken with him down to Mar-a-Lago was now in the public domain.
“The power to classify and declassify documents rests solely with the President of the United States,” the statement read. “The idea that some paper-pushing bureaucrat, with classification authority delegated by the president, needs to approve of declassification is absurd.”
There’s just one problem: That’s simply not true. As The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood has explained, while a president can declassify certain documents, that power doesn’t apply to those involving nuclear weapons.
“The Atomic Energy Acts of 1946 and 1954 produced an even stranger category of classified knowledge,” Wood writes. “Anything related to the production or use of nuclear weapons and nuclear power is inherently classified, and Trump could utter whatever words he pleased yet still be in possession of classified material.
“The restrictions on documents of this type are incredibly tight,” Wood added. “If Trump was keeping nuclear secrets in the storeroom of his country club, without even the benefit of a padlock, and resisted attempts to secure those secrets against infiltrators and spies, a prosecutor might reasonably take more interest.”
In other words, Trump may have either knowingly taken documents he wasn’t supposed to or he failed to read his complete job description. Either way, he may be screwed. But don’t worry: Sean Hannity thinks he could always run for president again from the clink.
(Via Raw Story)