Kash Patel, a former aide to former President Donald Trump, suggested on Sunday that Trump had the power to declassify documents through social media posts while in the White House.
He argued that this level of authority held by Trump meant that the burden of proof was on authorities to show that the former president failed to declassify the documents seized in the Mar-a-Lago FBI raid.
In June of this year, the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Assorted Products Former Defense Department appointee and Trump loyalist Kash Patel has vowed to retrieve classified documents from the National Archives and post them on his website.
Trump released a letter directing the National Archives to access non-administrative public records on Patel and conservative journalist John Solomon.
Patel, who served as the defense secretary’s chief of staff under Trump, said in a series of interviews that Trump classified the “Russiagate documents” in the final days of his administration. But Patel said Trump’s White House lawyer blocked the release of those documents and turned them over to the National Archives instead.
“I didn’t tell anyone this because it happened,” Patel said in a June 22 interview on a pro-Trump podcast. “I am going to identify each of the documents that they have retained so that they are not classified in the National Archives. We will start posting that information next week.”
The attorneys’ confirmation was made in an August 2 court filing “linked to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by American Oversight, a government watchdog group,” according to a Bloomberg report. The group has been searching for records related to Jan. 6 from Patel, Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller and former Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, the report added.
The three are among those considered “crucial witnesses to understanding the administration’s response to the Jan. 6 assault on Capitol Hill and former President Donald Trump’s reaction to the rape,” the CNN report said. “All three were involved in the Defense Department’s response to the dispatch of National Guard troops to the United States Capitol as the riots were ongoing,” the report added. However, “there is no suggestion that the officials themselves erased the records,” the report added.
CNN noted that “the government’s claim in the files that officials’ text messages from that day were not preserved is the latest blow to efforts to bring transparency to the events of January 6. It comes as the Department of Homeland Security is also under fire for the apparent loss of Secret Service messages that day.”
Patel was serving as Miller’s chief of staff during the attack after Trump tapped him to replace Mark T. Esper as the top Pentagon official. In that role, he was responsible for leading the secretary’s mission in the department, including directing his executive staff and advising the secretary on all matters related to the operations of the department.
Patel did not provide a clear explanation of how to legally or practically obtain the documents.
“The White House attorney and agency defied the President’s orders and put in place a federal bureaucracy that sent the cache to the National Archives, where it is now,” Patel said in a separate interview on June 23.
- The president’s lead attorney in connection with the raid on his home, Jim Trusty and Evan Corcoran, have decades of experience in the prosecution and have litigated some of the most complex cases in American history,” said spokesman Taylor Budowich.
Who is Kash Patel?
Kashyap Patel is senior counterterrorism adviser to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and a staff member to Representative Devin Nunes, chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Patel first came into the spotlight when he traveled to London with another staffer in search of Christopher Stelle, the author of a controversial dossier on Trump.
Patel, 37, grew up in New York and graduated from the University of Richmond in 2002. He earned a certificate in international law from University College London Law School and graduated from Pace University Law School in 2005. reported the New York Times.
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