Trump warns potential indictment over Mar-a-Lago raid would ‘tear this country apart’

Former President Donald Trump insisted on Thursday that he had declassified the treasure of documents seized by FBI agents in Mar-a-Lago last month – and warned that if charged with mishandling government records, ‘I just think it would tear this country apart’.

The 45th president also claimed in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt that the Justice Department had “no reason” to charge him with a crime “other than if they are just sick and bothered, which is always possible because I absolutely did, you saw the legal papers, absolutely nothing wrong.

Federal investigators seized more than 11,000 pages of government documents in Palm Beach, Florida, on August 8, including more than 100 documents marked “CONFIDENTIAL”, “SECRET” or “TOP SECRET” and dozens of empty folders marked “CLASSIFIED” Banners.

The Justice Department is currently waging a legal battle to pursue a review of what was taken from Trump’s home after a federal judge ordered the appointment of a neutral third party to review the documents to assess the claims. of the former president regarding solicitor-client privilege. privilege and other protections.

Former President Donald Trump warns that if he is indicted for mishandling government records, “it would only tear this country apart.”

A photo of Trump's estate in Florida.

Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate was raided by the FBI in August 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida.

Trump insisted Thursday that he gave verbal orders while president to declassify documents that ended up at Mar-a-Lago.

“I have the absolute right to declassify, absolute,” he said. “A president has that absolute right, and a lot of people don’t even dispute that anymore.”

The former president’s lawyers didn’t go that far in their court filings, arguing on Monday that “there still remains disagreement as to the classification status of the documents” and that Trump “has absolute right of access to his presidential records even though he does not ‘own’ them.”

A photo of the Meet the Press hosts.
During an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Trump said the Justice Department had “no reason” to charge him with a crime.
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via

Trump also blamed the seizure on the “radical left” National Archives and Records Administration — and an “armed” Justice Department and FBI.

“If you look at the… [Presidential Records] law that was passed, it talks about what you can do, what you can’t do, how you negotiate with NARA,” he said. “And then if you look at what’s running NARA, it’s the radical left, the radical left, radical.

“And then you take a look at Hillary with her 33,000 emails that were removed, and you look at Obama and others, and people say Trump was treated very, very unfairly,” he added. “Very, very unfairly. Just take a look.

A photo of US Secret Service and Mar-A-Lago security personnel at Trump's estate in Florida.
The FBI seized more than 11,000 pages of classified government documents from Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

The former president also said no one from the Justice Department contacted him before the raid and said the government and his legal team were “having very positive discussions”. Suddenly, we are raided by the FBI.

“We had very, very good and positive discussions. Then we are raided by the FBI. No one has ever seen anything like it.”

Even if Trump is indicted by the Biden administration, the former president vowed Thursday that it wouldn’t stop him from making a third straight run for the White House in 2024.

A photo of Donald Trump on a golf course.
Lawyers for the former president argued that Trump “has an absolute right of access to his presidential records, even though he does not ‘own’ them.”
AFP via Getty Images

“I don’t think the people of the United States would tolerate it. [an indictment]he told Hewitt. “And as you know, if something like that happened, I wouldn’t be banned from running. You know.”

“But I think if that happened, I think you would have problems in this country like we may never have seen before,” Trump added. “I don’t think the American people would support him.”

“What kind of trouble, Mr. President?” Hewitt asked.

“I think they would have big problems, big problems. I don’t think they would support it. They won’t, they won’t stand still and defend this ultimate hoax,” replied Trump, who denied that he meant the comment was an incitement to violence by his fans.

“It’s not incentive,” he said. “I just say what I think. I don’t think the people of this country would accept that.

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