Watch a stunned Eric Swalwell learn about report Trump had 300 classified documents at Mar-a-Lago
Congressman Eric Swalwell speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Ever since the FBI executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort on August 8, pundits in the right-wing media have been portraying the search and the federal investigation that goes with it as a politically motivated persecution. But at mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times, MSNBC, the Washington Post and CNN, reporters have been doing actual reporting, probing, digging and investigating — so much reporting, in fact, that when Rep. Eric Swalwell of California made a Monday night, August 22 appearance on CNN, he learned, in real time, what the Times’ reporting on the search and ongoing investigation had turned up.

Swalwell, who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, was talking to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes when Hayes brought a newly published Times report by Maggie Haberman, Jodi Kantor, Adam Goldman and Ben Protess to his attention. Hayes told the Democratic congressman, “The New York Times, apparently just reporting just now, there were 300 classified documents, apparently at Mar-a-Lago.”

Swalwell, upon hearing about the Times’ new reporting for the first time, sounded stunned, saying, “Jesus.”

When Hayes asked Swalwell, “What do you make of that number?” the California Democrat responded, “That’s a lot. Just for your viewers’ sake, the reason that they’re marked ‘top secret’ means that it often relates to force protection for our troops. So, information about where our troops are that we would not want anyone to know because it could put them in harm’s way. It could relate to our nuclear posture or the nuclear posture of our adversaries. It could relate to the technical means that we use to collect information to protect our troops and to protect Americans, or the work that we’re doing to combat terrorism.”

Swalwell, continued, “And so, 300 pages — you know, just a basement stairway away in an open beach house is not where you would want that information, especially in the hands of somebody who President Biden deemed should not even be able to receive classified information.”

Under the Presidential Records Act of 1978, former presidents are required to give all White House and presidential records to the federal government when they leave office. Keeping such records on private property such as Mar-a-Lago is a violation of that federal law. Trump has claimed that any documents he was storing at Mar-a-Lago had been declassified before he left the White House on January 15, 2021, but many of his critics have been saying, in response, that Trump did not have the power to declassify them.

Watch the video below or at this link.

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