A former top Department of Defense official, Kash Patel, said the FBI may have taken documents relating to the Russia–Trump collusion investigation.
Amid a tussle between Trump and the National Archives, Patel said in a recent interview that documents that were stored at Mar-a-Lago marked as classified were declassified when he left office. Federal officials will have a difficult time proving that those documents were not classified, he said.
“The bottom line was he said this information has to get out to the American public,” Patel told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Sunday morning. Patel said he did not know what was in the boxes that FBI agents took from Trump’s home.
“It had to do with Russiagate. It had to do with the Hillary email scandal. It had to do with a whole lot of other stuff. And [Trump] said, ‘This is all declassified,’” Patel remarked, challenging a central claim made by the Justice Department that urgent action had to be taken because sensitive material was at risk.
So far, neither the Department of Justice nor the FBI has offered a public explanation about why the FBI agents targeted a former president’s home or what they were looking for. The Epoch Times has contacted the DOJ and FBI for comment.
A warrant and property receipt that were unsealed more than a week ago by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart showed that agents took 11 boxes of allegedly classified documents, although it’s not clear what those documents entailed. The warrant showed Trump was being probed for possible Espionage Act violations and obstruction of justice.
Republicans, Trump, and some media outlets have called for the DOJ’s affidavit—a legal document that would explain why the agency sought an FBI search warrant—to be released. During a hearing last week, Reinhart ordered the DOJ