The former president accused his predecessor of doing the same thing that supposedly got his Florida home raided
Former US president Donald Trump has decried the apparent double standard at play after the FBI raided his Florida home earlier this week, supposedly seeking classified documents relating to nuclear weapons. Trump argued that his predecessor, Barack Obama, had taken some 33 million pages of documents – many classified, some nuclear-related – without a whisper of protest from the agency when he left the White House.
“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” Trump declared in a statement released to his followers on Friday.
Trump had earlier on Friday declared that the “nuclear weapons issue” was “a Hoax, just like Russia, Russia, Russia was a Hoax, two impeachments were a Hoax, the Mueller investigation was a Hoax, and much more.” He suggested the FBI may have planted information, claiming his lawyers were not permitted to “get close” to the agents doing the searching.
The FBI raided the former president’s Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago property on Monday, an experience he described as an “assault” and a “weaponization of the justice system.” Trump has called for the release of all documents authorizing the search, which was personally approved by Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday.
Sources said to be familiar with the search told the Washington Post on Thursday that “classified documents related to nuclear weapons” were among the items being sought, though they declined to specify whether the information involved American weapons or those belonging to some other country. They did not reveal whether the agents had found what they were looking for during the search.
A written inventory unsealed by a federal judge on Friday revealed the FBI took 20 boxes of items from Mar-a-Lago, including four sets of top-secret documents and seven sets of classified documents. The warrant gave sweeping authorization to the agency to search “all structures or buildings on the estate” in which “boxes or documents could be stored” and called on agents to seize all “physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed in violation of three potential crimes, including a part of the Espionage Act outlawing gathering, transmitting, or losing national defense information.” Few specifics were available as to the content of the documents seized, other than a reference to photo binders and “information about the president of France.”
Regarding Obama’s alleged appropriation of classified documents, the National Archives and Records Administration took responsibility on Friday for having “assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama presidential records,” claiming it had moved 30 million pages of “unclassified records” to a facility maintained by the agency in the Chicago area while maintaining the former president’s classified materials in the Washington DC area. The unclassified documents will eventually be housed in a presidential library in Chicago, NARA claimed.