Trump office claims prior ‘standing order’ to declassify any materials removed from Oval Office

Democrats and their media allies have spent the week strongly insinuating that former President Donald Trump could soon face criminal indictment over purportedly classified materials recovered by FBI agents during a raid of his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida on Monday.

Trump’s detractors may have once again placed the cart before the horse, however, as the former president’s office has insisted that all of the documents stored at his south Florida residence were previously declassified under a “standing order” that covered any materials removed from the Oval Office of the White House, the Washington Examiner reported.

While some will inevitably dispute that claim, it does plausibly fit with the broadly agreed-upon fact that any president can declassify any materials they want at any time and for any reason without having to first go through any sort of formal process or seek additional approvals.

Materials marked classified recovered from Mar-a-Lago

A copy of the search and seizure warrant and seized property receipt list was publicly released Friday and indicated that FBI agents had recovered several boxes of documents that were marked as classified as well as other materials that were deemed to be sensitive.

The warrant also made reference to three specific criminal statutes that may have been violated by former President Trump, including the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice, and the mishandling of classified materials.

Yet, while Democrats and media pundits are salivating over visions of a handcuffed Trump finally being held accountable for his alleged criminal wrongdoing, there may in fact not have been any actual crimes committed here at all, if, in fact, all of the recovered materials from Mar-a-Lago had previously been declassified by the former president.

Trump asserts “standing order” to declassify removed materials

Just the News was provided an exclusive statement from the office of the former president on Friday that said, “The very fact that these documents were present at Mar-a-Lago means they couldn’t have been classified.”

“As we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different,” the statement continued. “President Trump, in order to prepare for work the next day, often took documents including classified documents from the Oval Office to the residence.”

“He had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken into the residence were deemed to be declassified,” Trump’s office added. “The power to classify and declassify documents rests solely with the President of the United States. The idea that some paper-pushing bureaucrat, with classification authority delegated BY THE PRESIDENT, needs to approve of declassification is absurd.”

Obama explicitly exempted presidents from the declassification process

To be sure, there is a rather stringent process by which government documents are classified or declassified, but the most recent revision of that encompassing process that was issued via executive order in 2009 by then-President Barack Obama explicitly exempted the president, vice president, and their immediate designees from having to go through that process.

Thus, if the statement from Trump’s office is accurate and the former president did have a “standing order” to automatically declassify any materials he removed from the Oval Office, then none of the materials recovered from Mar-a-Lago were actually still classified, regardless of any markings indicating otherwise.

If that is the case, then Attorney General Merrick Garland and the FBI quite clearly jumped the gun and ran with an obviously politically motivated raid against the chief political rival of the sitting president over non-existent alleged crimes and Trump’s haters, who are desperate to see him criminally disqualified from holding office again, will once more be bitterly disappointed that their incessant efforts in that regard have failed for the umpteenth time.

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