Former President Donald Trump needed to be determined to grab top secret files to cover them away in his Florida home, said a Washington Post columnist and associate editor who has covered the White House for a long time.
Presidents don’t unintentionally find yourself with such sensitive files amongst boxes and boxes of documents hauled out of the White House at the top of their term, Eugene Robinson told MSNBC’s Ari Melber on Friday. (They’re not purported to take any documents, which belong to the National Archives.)
The incontrovertible fact that agents carried out 11 sets of classified documents after their search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home Monday, based on the warrant and property receipt utilized by the FBI to conduct the search, is “unprecedented, unthought of,” Robinson said.
“Every president I’ve ever known or watched or observed or reported on, every administration has been very extremely, meticulously careful with top secret information, with classified information,” Robinson added.
“Once you get to top secret, you get to top secret/SCI, that almost all sensitive information, that stuff doesn’t lie around within the White House. It doesn’t lie around within the Oval Office. It doesn’t lie around anywhere, much less within the basement of Mar-a-Lago. It just doesn’t,” he said, using the acronym for “sensitive compartmented information.”
“It’s handled very rigorously,” he explained. “It’s checked out and examined and talked about, after which it’s tucked away into secure carriers and brought back to whatever vault it’s kept in.”
A number of the seized classified information was top secret, which is purported to remain only in a secure government facility. Sources told The Washington Post in a report Thursday that a few of the classified documents were believed to be related to nuclear weapons, which reportedly was a key reason for the urgent search.
The warrant indicated that Trump is under investigation for a possible violation of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice, and removing and destroying official documents. No specifics were provided within the documents.
The Espionage Act prohibits anyone from obtaining defense information with the possible intent of using it against the U.S. or to further the interests of a foreign country.
Robinson noted: “That is one other way wherein, again … the Donald Trump administration was like literally no other administration within the history of this country. No other administration would have, and positively no other administration did, treat classified information like this.”
Watch the interview here: