April 22, 2024

Donald Trump must really believe he’s above the law, because he continues to essentially admit to wrongdoing in the classified documents lawsuit against him.

Special counsel Jack Smith indicted Trump in June for hoarding classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. During a Fox News town hall on Tuesday night, host Laura Ingraham asked Trump why he hadn’t simply returned the material when the government asked him to do so.

“First of all, I didn’t have to hand them over,” Trump said bluntly. “But second of all, I would have done that. We were talking, and then all of a sudden they raided Mar-a-Lago.”

The FBI raided Mar-a-Lago in August 2022 after the federal government—and even Trump’s own lawyers—tried for months to get Trump to return hundreds of classified documents that he took with him when he left the White House. And FBI agents may not have even found all of the documents hidden at the resort.

The former president faces 41 criminal counts for willful retention of national defense information, making false statements, and conspiracy to obstruct justice, among other things. He has repeatedly insisted that he had every right to keep the documents. He does not.

Trump has also claimed, despite knowing otherwise, that all the material he brought to Florida was already declassified. Trump said that being president enabled him to declassify documents at will, including “just by thinking about it.” This is not true.

And now Trump has given Smith even more proof that the former president had wrongfully kept classified documents. Trump’s trial for hoarding classified documents is set to begin in May.