President Joe Biden responded sarcastically to former President Donald Trump’s claim he had declassified all the documents transported to Mar-a-Lago.
“I’ve declassified everything in the world,” responded President Biden to a reporter’s question. “I’m president. I can do it all.”
“Come on, declassified everything?” Biden retorted. “I’m not gonna comment because I don’t know the details. I don’t even want to know. Let the Justice Department take care of it.”
The president’s remarks mirror previous administration claims the White House had no prior knowledge of the FBI’s raid and search of his predecessor’s Florida home. The president and spokeswoman have both said they have not interfered in any way with the Justice Department investigation of the 45th president.
“We do not interfere,” declared White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to ABC’s “This Week” anchor Jonathan Karl earlier this month. “We do not get briefed. We do not get involved.”
Her remarks were a response to a clip Karl played where Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) claimed the administration was weaponizing the Justice Department.
“The FBI raid of President Trump is a complete abuse and overreach of its authority,” Stefanik said in a clip Karl played for Jean-Pierre.
The press secretary denied Stefanik’s allegation.
“The Department of Justice, when it comes to law enforcement, is independent,” the press secretary explained. “This is what we believe, and this is what the president has said. This is not about politicizing anything.”
Republicans and other supporters of the Make America Great Again movement have expressed continued disbelief in administration denials. Most seem to believe there is no way the White House does not sign off on the first raid and search of a former president’s home in the nation’s 246-year history. Some go as far as asserting the prosecution of Trump was at the direction of the current president.
Trump’s team and former aide Kash Patel insist Trump had a standing order to declassify material that was taken from the Oval Office to Mar-a-Lago, according to a report in The Epoch Times.
“He had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken into the residence were deemed to be declassified,” Trump’s office said in a statement earlier this month. “The power to classify and declassify documents rests solely with the President of the United States.”
“The idea that some paper-pushing bureaucrat, with classification authority delegated by the president, needs to approve of declassification is absurd.”
Also, Trump’s attorneys have questioned a warrant to enforce the Presidential Records Act since that statute is not criminally enforceable. Perhaps that is why the focus has shifted to claims of violating the Espionage Act, which carries severe penalties.
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