Former President Donald Trump has been given until Sept. 30 to substantiate his suspicion that the FBI may have planted evidence during its raid on Mar-a-Lago.
The raid occurred on Aug. 8 while Trump was out of state and is said to have lasted around 10 hours. Trump has accused the FBI of “ransacking” his house, including his wife Melania’s closet and his 16-year-old son Barron’s room.
While Trump has stopped short of outright accusing the Bureau of planting evidence, he has strongly implied it.
In a post on Truth Social a few days after the search, he said that FBI agents had prevented everyone, including his lawyers, from being “anywhere near the areas that were rummaged and otherwise looked at during the raid.”
“Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, ‘planting.’ Why did they STRONGLY insist on having nobody watching them, everybody out?” Trump wrote.
During the raid, the FBI seized thousands of government documents and photographs, according to a Justice Department inventory list. Many of the documents had no classification markings and some “potentially” included attorney-client privileged information, the DOJ revealed in a court filing.
Other documents found at Mar-a-Lago were allegedly classified. The DOJ reported that 54 documents were marked “SECRET,” 31 were labeled “CONFIDENTIAL” and 18 were labeled “TOP SECRET.”
Trump asked in a Wednesday interview on Fox News, “Did they drop anything into those piles, or did they do it later?”
Judge Raymond Dearie, the special master in charge of handling the review of documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, gave Trump a deadline of nine days to provide “a list of any specific items set forth in the Detailed Property Inventory that [Trump] asserts were not seized from the Premises on August 8, 2022,” according to the Washington Examiner.
Dearie told Trump’s legal team that this would be his “final opportunity to raise any factual dispute as to the completeness and accuracy” of the DOJ’s inventory list.
The Justice Department has also been asked to confirm that its inventory list is a full and accurate representation of what was seized.
Throughout the case, Trump has repeatedly claimed that he had the authority to declassify all documents taken to Mar-a-Lago.
When asked by Fox’s Sean Hannity if the president has to go through “a process” to declassify documents, Trump replied, “There doesn’t have to be a process, as I understand it.”
“If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying it’s declassified. Even by thinking about it,” Trump said. “You’re the president, you make that decision. … I declassified everything.”
However, Dearie told Trump’s legal team that they must provide evidence of declassification or else the documents in question will be considered classified.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.