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‘That’s Not How It Works’: Legal Experts React To Trump’s Claim That He Can Declassify Top Secret Docs With His Mind



Donald Trump

Legal experts are baffled after Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday that a president of the United States can declassify documents just by thinking about it.

After suffering a major defeat in the Mar-a-Lago documents case before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Trump was interviewed on Fox News by Sean Hannity.

“You have said on Truth Social, a number of times, you did declassify,” Hannity said.

“I did declassify,” Trump claimed, even though his attorneys have not made that argument in courtrooms in Florida, New York, or Georgia.

“What was your process to declassify?” Hannity asked.

“There doesn’t have to be a process, as I understand it,” Trump replied. “You know, there’s different people, say different things.”

“If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying, ‘it’s declassified’ — even by thinking about it,” Trump claimed.

Reacting to Trump’s stunning claim, attorney and national security expert Bradley Moss laughed at the notion that Trump could have declassified top secret documents by just thinking about doing so.

“Yeah, I’m sorry, that’s not how it works,” Moss told CNN host Brianna Keilar. “And this is not me saying it. There were three different cases that came out during the Trump years, one of which I lost, in which Trump made these verbal orders of ‘I’m declassifying x, y, z.’ Every single time it got pulled back.”

“The simple verbal assertion isn’t enough,” he insisted. “Thinking it in his head to declassify it? That would be an obscenely reckless way to handle declassification because no one else in the government would know that these records, this information is suddenly declassified.”

“I get he’s not a details guy but these processes are what have to be followed,” Moss continued. “This is not a defense his lawyers are going to actually try to put up — they have to try and put up something competent and coherent.”

To be clear, whether or not the documents were declassified is irrelevant to the three crimes the FBI said it was investigating in its search warrant application. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday, “declassification argument is a red herring because declassifying an official document would not change its content or render it personal.”

Watch Moss’s interview below from CNN: