House Intelligence Demands Proof of Trump Declassification Directive

A senior member of the House Republican leadership stated on Sunday that former President Trump needs to provide evidence he declassified materials discovered at his Mar-a-Lago club. 

Fox News host Maria Bartiromo asked GOP Rep. Mike Turner, the senior member of the Intel Committee, if the records, which raised issues about the nation’s security, were declassified, as Trump and his associates claim they were.

Turner responded in the negative.

Facts and Evidence 

The congressman stated on Sunday Morning Futures that it would be a matter determined by the facts. Turner said there is absolutely going to have to be some validation of this. 

He noted no one is challenging if Trump has the complete right to do it in his capacity as president. The question that will need to be answered is how they can provide evidence that it took place.

In an escalation of a months-long back-and-forth, the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago private club in Florida this month. At issue is the recovery of records, some of which have been considered classified. 

The former president is being looked at for alleged Espionage Act crimes and obstructing justice, according to an unsealed warrant. 

There is probable cause to think that indication of obstruction will be discovered, according to an affidavit that was heavily redacted. 

The affidavit noted the federal government is undertaking a criminal probe into the improper expulsion and collection of classified material in unpermitted areas, as well as the unauthorized concealment or relocation of government documents. 

Special Master

Trump denied any misconduct allegations and claims he declassified all the records kept at Mar-a-Lago after he left office. 

His legal team is looking at hiring a special master to look over the documents that were taken from his home. 

According to a document filed on Saturday, a federal judge in the state of Florida indicated the court’s “preliminary intent to appoint a special master” to analyze the documents.

Avril Haines, the Director of National Intelligence, briefed leaders in Congress last week that her office will provide an “evaluation” to top legislators about “the potential risk” to homeland safety presented by Trump’s handling of the records.

Haines referred to “the potential risk” as “the potential threat.”

Turner mentioned he requested for the House Intelligence Committee to be provided with all pertinent documents so members of Congress could examine them for themselves. 

The congressman advised that they need to proceed with extreme caution as they move forward with this procedure. There is a great deal more information to take in. 

He stated he has no doubt in his mind that the judge’s order initially implies they have the propensity to issue a special master for the president.

This would mean President Trump’s records going to this special master for evaluation and disposition is beneficial to the former president. Turner said he has no doubt that this is the case.

This article appeared in The Political Globe and has been published here with permission.