‘I was very busy.’ Trump gives new reason for not handing over classified documents

Former President Donald Trump explained on Monday why he did not return the classified documents he took with him from the White House, saying he was ‘very busy’ and had no time to separate them from his personal effects.

Trump made the comments in an interview with Fox News’ top political anchor Bret Baier on his Special Report show.

Asked why he didn’t just return the bankers’ boxes full of documents after the National Archives and the Justice Department decided to subpoena him, Trump said, “Because I I had boxes, I wanted to go through the boxes and get all my personal stuff out.. I don’t want to hand this over to NARA yet. And I was very busy, as you kind of saw.

Baier then read the Justice Department’s June 8 indictment, which charged Trump with 37 counts of mishandling national security information and obstructing justice by failing to return it. . More than 300 classified documents have been recovered more than a year after Trump left the White House, most under subpoena in June 2022 or during an FBI search in August 2022.

“According to the indictment, you then tell this assistant to move (the boxes) to other locations after telling your lawyers to say that you have fully complied with the subpoena when you do not. didn’t do,” Baer asked Trump.

“Before I send boxes, I have to get all my stuff out,” Trump replied. “These boxes were littered with all sorts of things.”

Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges during his June 13 arraignment in Miami and agreed not to discuss the case with his co-defendant and former White House valet Walt Nauta and potentially dozens of witnesses that the Justice Department plans to bring in the case.

Trump has insisted since the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago estate last August that he had the right to keep the documents, in part because as president he had the power to release them. declassify all of them – even if it has taken no specific action to do. SO.

On Monday, a federal judge issued a protective order barring Trump from accessing discovery evidence in his classified documents case without an attorney present and from sharing the information with the public or the media.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump says he didn’t hand over documents because he was ‘very busy’

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