WASHINGTON — Former President Donald J. Trump claimed on Friday that before leaving office, he declassified all the documents the F.B.I. found in this week’s search of his Florida residence that agents described as classified in a list of what they seized — including several caches apparently marked as “top secret.”
“It was all declassified,” Mr. Trump asserted in a statement.
The claim echoed an assertion in May by Kash Patel, a former Trump administration official and a major supporter of Mr. Trump, after the National Archives found materials marked classified in boxes of documents it removed from Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club and estate. He asserted that Mr. Trump had deemed those files declassified shortly before leaving office, but that the markings had not been removed from them.
Mr. Trump has offered no details, but if he is saying he made a blanket, oral invocation that all the files he took to Mar-a-Lago were unclassified, without making any formal, written…
This article was written by Charlie Savage and originally published on www.nytimes.com