Docs Seized by FBI in Trump Raid Had info on 'Russiagate,' Former Aide Says

'This information has to get out to the American public,' said Kash Patel

On Aug. 8, FBI agents removed 11 sets of documents in a raid of former president Donald Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Since then, speculation swirled concerning the contents of those records and whether they contained classified information.

A former national security official has offered a glimpse into the material seized by federal agents.

“It had to do with Russiagate. It had to do with the Hillary email scandal,” Kash Patel, former White Hosue aide and former U.S. Department of Defense Chief of Staff told The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Patel said the “information has to get out to the American public.” But, federal officials have made the issue about protecting matters of national security.

Three days after the FBI search was conducted, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland delivered public remarks, saying the Department of Justice (DOJ) was open to public release of the search warrant used to conduct the raid. He also said it is “standard practice” to “narrowly scope any search” conducted under these extraordinary circumstances.

However, Attachment B of the warrant called for federal agents to confiscate any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017 and January 20, 2021, without specifying a classification status for those documents. This gave the FBI license to take any records originated during the entirety of the Trump presidency — even non-classified or de-classified documents.

Federal agents said the boxes they removed contained classified material. But, according to Patel, “this is all declassified.”

There has been debate from current and former officials over whether the material seized from Mar-A-Lago was classified, given there is currently no documented evidence of the president’s declassification action, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Some legal experts argue that the president’s declassification process must follow certain established procedures required by other federal workers and agencies. But, others state that the president has plenary declassification authority, meaning the president can declassify any document, at any time, via any means.

The argument for plenary declassification was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1988 decision in Department of the Navy v. Egan, when the Court said: “[The president’s] authority to classify and control access to information bearing on national security … flows primarily from this constitutional investment of power in the president and exists quite apart from any explicit congressional grant.”

Patel accused the Justice Department of conducting the raid to prevent the release of information Trump declassified related to the DOJ investigation of whether Trump had ties to Russia.

The investigation, carried out by Robert Mueller, found no evidence of collusion or collaboration by the Trump team with Russians.

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