Friday, August 12, 2022

Trump allies say he declassified Mar-a-Lago documents. Experts say it's unclear whether that will hold up.

Richard Immerman, a historian and former assistant deputy director of national intelligence under former President Barack Obama, disagreed and said that, while the president has the authority to declassify documents, there’s a formal process for doing so, and there's no indication Trump used it.

“He can’t just wave a wand and say it’s declassified,” Immerman said. “There has to be a formal process. That’s the only way the system can work,” because otherwise there would be no way of knowing who could handle or see the documents, he added.

“I’ve seen thousands of declassified documents. They’re all marked ‘declassified’ with the date they were declassified,” Immerman said.

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