Trump calls on FBI to return "privileged" documents seized
Former US President Donald Trump is calling on the FBI to return documents seized during the home raid on his Mar-a-Lago home.
Former US President Trump demanded on Sunday that the FBI return confiscated documents that were allegedly protected by attorney-client and executive privileges. The FBI raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago home on Monday, recovering 11 sets of classified documents.
The FBI seized boxes covered by attorney-client privilege and possibly executive privilege on Saturday, according to unnamed sources familiar with the investigation to Fox News.
"It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged ‘attorney-client’ material, and also ‘executive’ privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken," Trump said on Truth Social.
"By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken," he said.
House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told CBS' Face the Nation that he hadn't seen any evidence to back up Trump's claim that the materials had been declassified. "A former president has no declassification authority," Schiff said.
"And the idea that 18 months after the fact Donald Trump could simply announce, 'Well, I'm retroactively declassifying, or whatever I took home had the effect of declassifying them' is absurd."
Trump and his associates have regularly used presidential privilege to prevent the release of papers or information. He attempted to assert executive privilege over presidential records requested by the House Jan. 6 committee last year but was rebuffed.
Several former Obama administration officials have also refused to testify before the committee, citing executive privilege.
Trump, declassified files
Trump dismissed a report that the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago residence with the aim of searching for classified nuclear weapon documents.
"Nuclear weapons issue is a Hoax, just like Russia, Russia, Russia was a Hoax, two Impeachments were a Hoax, the Muller investigation was a Hoax and much more. Same sleazy people," Trump wrote on Truth Social, his alternative right-wing social media app following his ban on Twitter.
He also questioned why the FBI wouldn't allow his lawyers to be present during the inspection, accusing them of "planting" evidence in the mansion. Trump reiterated his claim that the search was an "unprecedented political weaponization of law enforcement."
Days after the FBI raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago property, the contents of the search warrant were made public. The FBI took 11 boxes worth of papers, including data deemed to be so secret that they could not be stated individually in the "receipt" of what was taken.
In addition, about 20 boxes of materials were retrieved from Trump's residence, including handwritten notes, executive orders, and other documents, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Last year, Former US President Donald Trump has had his appeal of hiding records related to the January 6 capitol storming rejected.
As a former president, Trump attempted to use his executive privilege to hide the records, however, the US Federal court of appeals decided that the current president could override this privilege and have the documents reviewed by a Congressional panel to investigate Trump supporters' violence on the day.
Trump has been repeatedly accused of inciting the violence that occurred.