Trump’s defense has suffered another blow as DOJ and intel agencies can find no record of his claimed standing declassification order.
A “standing order” that former President Donald Trump has claimed authorized him to instantly declassify documents removed from the Oval Office could not be found by either the Justice Department or Office of Director of National Intelligence.
The disclosure by the agencies was made in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed last August by Bloomberg News, which sued ODNI and the Justice Department’s national security division for a copy of Trump’s so-called standing order — if one existed.
But government attorneys have since confirmed in a letter sent Thursday to Bloomberg News that each agency “possesses no records responsive to your request” about the existence of a declassification standing order.
If there is no record of Trump’s standing declassification order, it would appear that Donald Trump lied about having one, or didn’t follow legal procedure and Trump seems to believe that he could declassify documents by thinking about them, or by simply declaring them declassified.
Neither one of those actions if taken by Trump meet the legal standard for declassification. The odds are given Trump’s history of not following the law and lying that Trump never issued any kind of declassification order.
The documents that Trump took from the White House were stolen, and he had no right to possess them. When he showed them to other people, the former president was mishandling classified information and violating the law.
Trump has repeatedly publicly stated that the documents were declassified, but if the government has no record of declassification, it would serve to strengthen the case against Trump and deal another blow to his defense.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association