During a Wednesday evening interview with Fox News’ “Hannity,” former President Donald Trump made his case to the American people, arguing that the FBI’s raid on his Mar-a-Lago home was unwarranted, unprofessional and a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.
One of the many topics addressed in the interview was the strangely broad scope of the raid — which allowed agents to rummage through Melania Trump’s clothing, the former president’s bedroom and offices, and Barron’s room. Reportedly, FBI agents left the residence “a mess.”
Calling the raid a “witch hunt,” Trump alleges the FBI was not there to seize “classified documents” as claimed but rather to do an indiscriminate search of the home in an attempt to embarrass or implicate the former president and derail the expected “red wave” in November’s midterms.
Supporting Trump’s contention is the wide assortment of items seized by the FBI, which includes personal photos, newspaper clippings, medical records, tax records, 500 pages of attorney-client privileged material and passports. Trump also mentioned that on Tuesday he was told the FBI may have taken his last will and testament.
Trump alleges the warrant for the search should never have been authorized by the bureau, Attorney General Garland or Judge Reinhart. Hannity noted that Reinhart had previously recused himself from a Trump-related case of lesser importance and was surprised he did not do the same in this case.
Trump responded by claiming Biden and DNC officials “went to a magistrate that hates me — he is a Clinton person … he is an Obama person.”
Hannity then compared the Department of Justice’s handling of the Hillary Clinton’s “top secret” files case with how the DOJ is treating Trump.
Hannity noted Clinton had 30 times the amount of “classified material” than the agency claims Trump had. Trump’s files were in a secure area; Hillary’s were kept in an unsecured area. Trump’s moving of the materials from the White House was a public affair with many pictures being taken; 15 boxes were sent to the national records administration at their request, and two months before the raid, agents went to Trump’s home to inspect the boxes and left with one suggestion — add a lock to a room, which was done immediately. In contrast, Clinton hid the fact that she was in possession of classified material and then “took a hammer and BleachBit” to computer hard drives to ensure the materials in her possession could not be reviewed by an investigative committee.
Trump’s response was: “We don’t have equal justice — it is very unfair.”
Trump also complained that his attorneys were “not permitted in the room” during the search and that “There is no chain of custody.”
He argued that because of the way the FBI handled the raid, “We don’t know if someone dropped something into a box — or put something in [the files] later.”
Regarding the “top secret” classification, Trump maintained: “I declassified everything,” noting that declassifying a document “doesn’t have to be a formal process” as many suggest. Further, Trump pushed the matter, saying, “If I think it … or send it [to a secure area], it is considered declassified.”
Regarding the behavior of the FBI, in a statement made on Aug. 8, Trump said: “These are dark times for our Nation.”
“Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before. After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.”
Multiple times during the interview, Trump reiterated: “I declassified everything.”
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