On Thursday, a grand jury indicted Trump on 37 counts ranging from willful retention of classified documents to obstruction charges in connection to the Department of Justice‘s (DOJ) probe into whether he mishandled classified documents after leaving office in January 2021. Federal prosecutors are accusing the former president of mishandling sensitive presidential records and obstructing government efforts to retrieve them. Trump, however, has maintained his innocence, accusing prosecutors of investigating him for political reasons.
Bream, the host of Fox News Sunday, asked Trump attorney Alina Habba about federal prosecutors accusing the former president of making “false statements” to investigators.
Specifically, Bream questioned Habba about a portion of the indictment that alleges Trump told members of his legal team, “I don’t want anybody looking through my boxes. I really don’t,” and “Wouldn’t it be better if we just told them we don’t have anything here?”
“One of the things he’s accused of in this indictment is giving false statements and forcing other people, including legal members of his team, to give false statements,” Bream said.
Habba responded by saying she “can’t get into details,” but defended Trump not wanting anybody to go through the boxes.
“If I’m someone with documents that I have a right to have as the president who left the White House, do I want people rummaging through my personal items? No,” Habba said, referring to an image that shows documents spilled onto a floor at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, that she said contained newspapers and mementos.
Bream then asked Habba about the contents of that box, which the indictment said contained a document marked “SECRET/ REL TO USA/FVEY,” meaning it was releasable only to the Five Eyes intelligence alliance consisting of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
“They say that’s in part of those documents that have spilled out,” Bream said.
Habba said she has “never seen anything spilled out,” and that she does not know what was in the box. However, she did say she believes Trump has the right to have classified documents.
The former president has said the documents found at Mar-a-Lago were declassified, arguing that his authority as president allowed him to declassify the files without going through the formal classification process, though other legal experts, including some Republicans, have cast doubt on that theory. Prosecutors are alleging these files, some of which allegedly contained information related to national security, were not declassified.
“There are a lot of questions here. What I can tell you is that he has every right to have classified documents that he declassified under the Presidential Records Act,” Habba said. “They’re making it sound like a 5-alarm fire. It’s not.”
Meanwhile, Trump will be arraigned at a Miami courthouse on Tuesday.
Newsweek reached out to Trump’s campaign for comment via email.
Published: 2023-06-11 17:51:35