The Federal Bureau of Investigations special agent who sought a search warrant of former President Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago acknowledged in his affidavit a Breitbart News article laying out the Trump team’s defense.
The May 5, 2022, Breitbart News article featured an interview with former Trump Pentagon Chief of Staff Kash Patel, who said a report claiming classified materials were found at Mar-a-Lago is misleading and that then-President Trump had already declassified the materials, but the markings had not yet been updated.
“Trump declassified whole sets of materials in anticipation of leaving government that he thought the American public should have the right to read themselves,” Patel had told Breitbart News in a phone interview back in May, long before the FBI’s raid.
“The White House counsel failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings, but that doesn’t mean the information wasn’t declassified,” Patel told Breitbart News. “I was there with President Trump when he said, ‘We are declassifying this information.’”
Patel told Breitbart News that the material was information that Trump “felt spoke to matters regarding everything from Russiagate to the Ukraine impeachment fiasco to major national security matters of great public importance — anything the president felt the American people had a right to know is in there and more.”
Patel is also a former prosecutor, former public defender, former principal deputy to the acting director of national intelligence, former National Security Council aide, and former top House Intelligence Committee staffer who would be well-versed in classification matters.
The FBI special agent wrote in the affidavit:
I am aware of an at1icle published in Breitbart on May 5, 2022, available at https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/05/05/documents-mar-a-lago-marked-classified-were-already-declassified-kash-patel-says/, which states that Kash Patel, who is described as a former top FPOTUS administration official, characterized as ”misleading” repo11s in other news organizations that NARA had found classified materials among records that FPOTUS provided to NARA from Mar-a-Lago. Patel alleged that such repot1s were misleading because FPOTUS had declassified the materials at issue.
Patel has since reiterated his remarks in recent interviews, after a judge granted a search warrant and the FBI raided Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago for the documents.
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