« I was very busy, as you will have seen, » he explained.
Trump’s comments are an admission that he has not moved to meet requests from the federal government to comply with their requests to hand over the documents. It’s also the most comprehensive way he has addressed the matter since he was indicted for mishandling those documents, which allegedly included classified material.
After leaving office, Trump took note of files and documents from his time as president. NARA eventually requested a full account of what had been brought to Mar-a-Lago. And when it was eventually discovered that some of the boxes Trump had taken contained classified documents, the agency required have the Justice Department look into the matter. The FBI eventually opened a criminal investigation, and the DOJ eventually issued a subpoena for the records.
According to the Special Counsel’s indictment, Trump moved the materials around Mar-a-Lago to hide the full extent of the boxes he kept from both the feds and even his own attorneys. Pressed by Baier, Trump did not deny that he told his lawyers that he fully complied with the subpoena when he had not. Instead, he said again that he needed time to unpack boxes to extract personal items like « golf shirts, dresses, pants, shoes. »
The special counsel also says Trump has openly discussed on two occasions that some of the materials remained confidential even as he kept them. In his interview with Fox News, Trump denied this, insisting that « everything has been declassified. » He said he « didn’t know » whether the materials he took contained military plans for a potential attack on Iran. although he’s reportedly acknowledging on tape which kept a classified Pentagon document detailing it.