Media Should File FOIA Request for ‘Declassified Docs’


There is no conceivable way that documents that, as of a year and eight months ago, were verifiably top secret-SCI material regarding nuclear capabilities are coming out from a FOIA request. But, as John Bolton says, it would be a fantastic way to prove that one of Trump’s primary defenses is just laughably wrong.

Bolton appeared on CNN this morning and laid it out: (VIDEO BELOW)

The president said he had to take classified materials to his residence, and therefore he declassified them by doing that. Look, nobody’s worried about unauthorized people in the residence quarters at the White House. If there are unauthorized people there, we have got a problem a lot more serious than documents being compromised.

If anyone believes that Trump “had” to take these critical materials to the residence, they are… an irredeemable and gullible MAGA. The only sense in which the words “had to” might fit is if Trump was utterly compromised by someone who wanted those materials and Trump needed a way to get the documents to the people demanding them. There is no evidence yet that goes that far. Bolton goes on:

Moreover, if this existed, there had to be some way to memorialize it. The White House counsel had to write it down. Otherwise, how would people throughout the government know what to declassify? You don’t declassify a document just as to Donald Trump. If a document is declassified, it is declassified. And no such record-keeping system existed. And I think this is just a sign of how worried the president’s advisers are about the nature of the problem he’s in right now.”

Correct. The defense worked when Trump tweeted out pictures of the bomb site and when telling the Russians about the terrorist hit, and so they threw it out again. This is different.

If he has declassified hundreds, maybe thousands of documents that he took to the residence because he worked very hard on this at night as we all know, over four years, the media should be filing Freedom of Information Act requests for all documents declassified by Donald Trump pursuant to this standing order. I’d love to see what gets produced.

The one above is the most hilarious and most terrifying Bolton statement. If Trump was routinely taking top-secret/SCI material to the residence, he had a nefarious reason. Those documents are supposed to remain in secure rooms like the Situation Room in the White House. We only know about the documents that went down to the Mar-a-Lago residence. If Trump routinely took stuff up and down to the residence… it is left to the consideration of the reader as to the possible damage done to the United States. Trump never turned over his own phone.

Berman asks a good question:

“And we know from seeing the receipt of items taken from Mar-a-Lago that there was a box labeled as SCI — sensitive compartmented information.

“Can you think of any reason a former president would have to have sensitive compartmented information in his residence?”

There is only one answer, and it is the reason the FBI needed to go in and get the materials.


“Look, in a normal administration a president is quite likely to write memoirs. He’ll want and deserves access to highly classified information, arrangements are made for former presidents and indeed for former cabinet officers who leave under happy circumstances, that SCIFs are set up that they can go to and look at this classified information. I don’t think there is any explanation that carries any weight whatever, why Trump just didn’t follow the normal procedures, except he thought he wasn’t subjected to procedures.”

Trump never believed laws applied to him. Bolton is right. If Trump actually declassified the documents, the media should file FOIA requests because the media would have a right to see them if declassified. Quite obviously, they are not declassified. There will be no record that they were declassified, and Trump will lose yet another defense for having the material which is what makes the idea brilliant.


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