Donald Trump made his latest attempt to explain why so many top secret and top secret documents were found in his Florida home 18 months after his presidency.
The former president once again claimed he had done nothing wrong when he attacked President Joe Biden for finding classified documents in his online posts, at his home and in an office he used in Washington DC.
Although there are similarities between the two cases, the number of documents, the conditions of their discovery and the reaction of the Trump and Biden teams are very different.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, Mr. Trump sent a three-part post – oddly labeled by page number – to social media platform Truth Social to voice his grievances and demand that the case against him be dropped.
He began by complaining about the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Hur to research the Biden documents: “What Biden did was wrong, but he was given a sensible and stable Special Counsel, who was sane, inclined not to make waves, befriended RINOS, a fiery lunatic, or an enemy of Biden. as unknown.
Mr Trump went on to come up with a new argument that his Palm Beach home, Mar-a-Lago, was so secure that it didn’t matter after his presidency that confidential documents were taken there.
“What I did was RIGHT, I put the documents in a safe place, I locked the doors, the guards and the Secret Service are everywhere, the security cameras are running. Mar-a-Lago is essentially an armed fort and was built in the 1920s to serve as the Southern White House with the High Walls and structure…”
“On Page 2,” he continued, “I was President of the United States and I was protected and protected by the Presidential Records Act, which is non-criminal and allows and encourages you to talk to NARA in a very nice way up to the FBI.” RAID Mar-a-Lago, something silly and possibly Illegal, that has been learned to have been after me for years without pause or question.
“As President, I have the right to declassify documents, Biden didn’t,” Trump claimed.
President Biden made no claim that he declassified any documents found at his home and at the Penn Biden Center in Washington. “Few” documents have been found, dating from Biden’s vice-presidential time to President Barack Obama.
Mr. Trump concluded by first complaining about the special prosecutor tasked with investigating him: “However, Special “Attorney General” Jack Smith is a Political Bandit Who Hates Trump…” and then “Page 3” to “The Boxes Deception Case Against Me” must be dropped immediately. I did nothing wrong!”
Since leaving office in January 2021, nearly 300 classified documents with classification markings, including some marked “top secret”, have been retrieved from Mr Trump’s home.
In January 2022, the National Archives told the Department of Justice that the boxes of documents they received from the former president contained a large amount of classified material. This led to a search of Mar-a-Lago by the FBI in August 2022, where agents discovered 33 boxes containing approximately 11,000 documents, 10 of which were marked as classified.
The Biden team immediately alerted the office of the White House adviser who contacted NARA when these documents were found, but the Trump team was less promising as months passed and a protracted struggle to get more documents.
There is no indication that Mr Biden was aware of the existence of the documents, and the documents were delivered quickly, with no attempt to delay or conceal discovery.
Mr Trump got into a lengthy argument that he declassified the material and that he had the right to retain it. He could face potential charges for obstruction and is no longer immune from prosecution as he has left office.
Mar-a-Lago was indeed built in the 1920s as the Winter White House, but no president used it that way until Mr Trump, who has owned the property since the 1980s and operated it as a private members club.