On Friday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," former federal prosecutor Elie Honig discussed the possible legal implications of former President Donald Trump removing White House classified documents from the White House
"Does this mean the former president actually may have committed a crime?" asked anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Is there a chance he could be prosecuted for it? I asked the question because a sitting president could declassify anything he wants."
"We absolutely could be in criminal territory here," said Honig. "It is a federal crime to intentionally remove or destroy classified information if it was done, not by accident, but intentionally and knowingly. If these documents were marked classified and anyone who could read would know they were classified, if there was proof after an investigation that it was done intentionally, then you have a crime."
Honig explained that while Trump as president could have declassified any American intelligence, there is a process that must be followed and that he cannot simply say the intelligence is declassified after leaving office.
"Yes, a siting president can declassify documents. No, a former president cannot retroactively declassify," added Honig. "If Donald Trump did, there would be some witness or some record to reflect that. In the absence of that, we could be in criminal territory."
Elie Honig on Trump's mishandling of top secret information www.youtube.com