Unable to post on Twitter following his lifetime suspension for inciting Jan. 6 violence, former President Donald Trump took to his Truth Social website to respond after The Wall Street Journal and other conservative outlets obtained copies of the Mar-a-Lago search warrant and property receipt.
"FBI agents who searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home Monday removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked as top secret and meant to be only available in special government facilities, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The Federal Bureau of Investigation agents took around 20 boxes of items, binders of photos, a handwritten note and the executive grant of clemency for Mr. Trump’s ally Roger Stone, a list of items removed from the property shows. Also included in the list was information about the 'President of France,' according to the three-page list," the newspaper reported.
Trump responded by repeating debunked talking points.
"Number one, it was all declassified," Trump claimed.
But it has been reported that some documents concern nuclear weapons and Trump does not have the power to unilaterally declassify such documents. The second is that if the documents were still marked classified, it would still be a crime to possess them.
In its article about the search warrant, The Journal reported, "The list includes references to one set of documents marked as 'Various classified/TS/SCI documents,' an abbreviation that refers to top-secret/sensitive compartmented information. It also says agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents, and three sets of confidential documents."
Trump also claimed the FBI "didn’t need to 'seize' anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago," Trump said, referring to a valid search warrant as a robbery.
That argument appears undermined by reporting that the DOJ served a subpoena months ago but still reportedly left with 11 sets of classified documents.
"All they had to do was ask," Trump still argued, in all capital letters.
Trump then cited former President Barack Obama.
"The bigger problem is, what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?" Trump asked.
But the federal government debunked Trump's conspiracy theory in a statement released Friday.
"The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA)," the agency said.
"NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA. Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area," the agency explained. "As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration."