'Petty man' Trump shredded by former prosecutor for endangering US intelligence for personal gain
Senator Lindsey Graham smiles behind President Trump at the rally in the Bojangle's Coliseum in 2020. (Shutterstock.com)

For over a week, former President Donald Trump has defended himself from the FBI investigation into his hoarding of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida by claiming that he enacted a "standing order" to declassify any documents he needed to bring with him — a claim that FBI agents are reportedly looking into by questioning his associates.

But according to former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance on Twitter, whether Trump actually did declassify the documents is beside the broader point: that the former president had no basis for doing so except his personal whim, and that U.S. intelligence and national security was put at risk by that whim.

"Even if Trump did declassify documents (which DOJ seems to doubt) that doesn't mean the information in them somehow became unimportant," wrote Vance. "It means that a small, petty man abused the power of the presidency and exposed the country and individuals collecting intelligence to grave risks."

This comes amid the bombshell release of the affidavit the FBI provided to obtain the search warrant to seize documents at Mar-a-Lago.

Among other things, the heavily-redacted affidavit reveals that the 15 boxes Trump already gave up to the National Archives contained dozens of highly classified documents, including national defense material that potentially revealed clandestine human intelligence sources. It also reveals that a "significant number of civilian witnesses" may have cooperated against Trump to tip off federal officials.

Legal experts have suggested key portions of the affidavit indicate that the Justice Department is seriously pursuing an indictment against the former president.