Former President Donald Trump was required to return all documents marked as classified as part of a grand jury subpoena issued in May, regardless of whether or not the former president believed he’d declassified the documents, the Department of Justice wrote in an Aug. 29 court filing made public Friday.
Trump has put forth a number of reasons to justify why troves of documents, including some with “top secret” and “confidential” markings, were at his Mar-a-Lago residence.
Trump and his team have claimed he had a “standing order” dictating that documents taken from the Oval Office to his residence were deemed declassified upon their removal, Axios’ Shawna Chen writes. Former national security adviser John Bolton and Former Attorney General Bill Barr have both thrown doubt on the claim.
Trump and his team have made public comments alluding to the documents being declassified by Trump, but have been careful to not to actually assert the claim in legal proceedings, the Washington Post reported.