Trump’s lawyers never said in their new lawsuit that Donald Trump released the classified documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.
Video of Andrew Weissmann on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports:
weissmann said:The government says here that there is one category that does not need to be reviewed by the special captain, and that is all documents marked as classified. And the Trump team says what do you mean, they may be marked classified, but it’s not clear they are. But they don’t quite come out and say Trump released it. I think there is a reason. Because there are criminal penalties if they lie to a court. That is actually a federal crime.”
Trump stuck to his utterly false argument that the classified documents belonged to him:
As the former head of DOJ .’s counterintelligence service @DavidLaufmanLaw notes that there is no scenario where classified documents belong to Donald Trump. They belong to our government. And the content must be secured according to government rules. If you’re in a hole, stop digging. https://t.co/Szy6eQV0HZ
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) September 12, 2022
Legally, there is no way the documents belonged to Trump. Under federal law, the documents belong to the federal government.
Trump’s lawyers apparently don’t want to be prosecuted. The former president’s lawyers know that if they lie in a lawsuit and falsely claim that the documents have been declassified, they could be in a lot of legal trouble, so they dance around the claim by asking if the documents have actually been classified. what is something the government should be able to easily prove as there is a paper trail when such decisions are made.
Trump tries to buy time, but what the filing doesn’t say is more important than his lawyers’ argument.
It appears Trump never released the documents, proving that he was in illegal possession of government secrets.