For years, California Rep. Adam Schiff (D) insisted that former President Donald Trump had colluded with Russia. This lead to widespread mockery in 2019 when Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence any collusion had taken place.
That hasn’t stopped him from leveling allegations against the former president, however. This past weekend, Schiff accused Trump of illegally holding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
According to the Washington Examiner, Schiff made that claim during a Sunday appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation.
“Seen no evidence”
While speaking with host Margaret Brennan, the Democratic lawmaker dismissed Trump’s insistence that any material he possessed had already been declassified.
“The president has broad declassification authority when he is in office, but typically, a declassification is memorialized in some way,” Brennan pointed out. “Can you seek out the answer to the question of whether there actually is record of whether Donald Trump declassified that?” she asked, noting, “That’s his defense here, that anything he had, he had already declassified.”
Schiff replied, “Yes, we should determine, you know, whether there was any effort during the presidency to go through the process of declassification.”
“I’ve seen no evidence of that, nor have they presented any evidence of that,” he was quick to add, noting, “The idea, first of all, a former president has no declassification authority.”
“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.”
The Examiner reported that for his part, Trump issued a statement via Truth Social on Friday in which he said that a “standing order” existed which allowed him to automatically declassify any documents he wished the moment they left the Oval Office.
“The power to classify and declassify documents rests solely with the President of the United States,” Trump’s statement said.
“The idea that some paper-pushing bureaucrat, with classification authority delegated BY THE PRESIDENT, needs to approve of declassification is absurd,” the former president went on to assert.