Two of the laws referred to in the search warrant executed this week criminalize the taking or concealment of government records, regardless of whether they had anything to do with national security. And laws against taking material with restricted national security information are not dependent on whether the material is technically classified.
Mr. Bolton, who served as Mr. Trump’s third national security adviser over 17 months, said he had never heard of the standing order that Mr. Trump’s office claimed to have in place. It is, he said, “almost certainly a lie.”
“I was never briefed on any such order, procedure, policy when I came in,” Mr. Bolton said, adding that he had never been told of it while he was working there, and had never heard of such a thing after. “If he were to say something like that, you would have to memorialize that, so that people would know it existed,” he said.
What’s more, he pointed out, secure facilities for viewing sensitive material were constructed at Mr. Trump’s clubs in Florida and New Jersey, where he often spent weekends as president, meaning that the documents wouldn’t need to be declassified. And if they were declassified, Mr. Bolton said, they would be considered subject to public record requests.
He continued, “When somebody begins to concoct lies like this, it shows a real level of desperation.” [Continue reading…]