Trump allies say the former president disclosed all the documents he brought to Mar-a-Lago.
As president, Trump had the authority to immediately declassify government documents, an aide said.
Former CIA chief Leon Panetta rejected the claim, saying there was a thorough process for declassification.
The former CIA director dismissed claims by Donald Trump allies that the former president had the authority to immediately release government documents, calling it “pretty much BS.”
Leon Panetta, who served as secretary of defense and director of the CIA under the Obama administration, told CNN’s Jack Tapper on Monday that there is a process for declassifying classified government information and for Signatures from other agencies are required.
“If the president wants to make an announcement, he’s going to have to follow a process that basically turns it over to the agencies that are responsible for classifying that material,” Panetta told CNN. Panetta told CNN. “They have some say in whether that material should be declassified or not.”
“So there’s nothing that I’m aware of that indicates there’s been an official move by this president to actually reveal anything. Right now, that’s pretty much BS. “, he added.
Panetta’s comments came after Kash Patel, a former Pentagon official under Trump, claimed that Trump had released all the documents leading up to Mar-a-Lago.
Patel told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that as president, Trump “literally had the authority to stand on a set of documents and say, ‘These are now declassified,'” according to Mediaite. can be seen in a clip shared by
“This is an important fact that most Americans are missing: President Trump, as a sitting president, has unilateral declassification authority,” Patel said.
FBI agents seized about 20 boxes of items from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida during their raid last week, including 11 sets of documents marked top secret and They were only designated to live in a secure government facility.
Trump previously argued that when he was president, he had “a standing order that documents taken from the Oval Office to the residence are considered declassified,” according to a statement read on Fox News on Friday.
But there is no evidence that he followed the procedure for doing so.
According to the New York Times, federal departments and agencies have the authority to classify and declassify information by “declarative authorities.”
Presidents, however, can declassify documents without going to other government officials for approval, the Times reported.
Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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