William Barr, who was former President Donald Trump’s attorney general until the final months of his administration, appeared on Friday to defend the Justice Department’s decision to raid Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago and capture thousands of documents.
“I think the pilot on this from the beginning was piles of classified information that was at Mar-A-Lago,” Barr said in an interview with Fox News.
“People say it was unprecedented, well, it’s also unprecedented for a president to take all this classified information and put it in a country club, okay?” Barr said.
“How long is the government trying to get this back?” Barr continued. “They chatted for a year, they were cheated on the voluntary actions taken, then they went to get a subpoena, they were cheated on it, they feel.”
“The facts are starting to show they were getting jerked off, so how long will they wait?” Bar added.
The former DOJ chief’s remarks came as court documents revealed more information about the agency’s criminal investigation into sending classified government documents to Mar-a-Lago following Trump’s departure from the White House.
FBI agents found four dozen empty document folders marked “CLASSIFIED” during their raid on Trump’s club last month, a newly unsealed court filing revealed on Friday. Forty-three of those records were retrieved from Trump’s office, according to the court filing.
The Aug. 8 raid came months after the National Archives recovered 15 boxes of materials from Trump’s Palm Beach, Fla., vacation home in January. FBI agents traveled to Mar-a-Lago in June to collect any additional documents bearing classification marks.
But the FBI then “uncovered multiple sources of evidence” indicating that more classified documents remained at Mar-a-Lago, leading them to seek a warrant to search the premises, according to a DOJ filing.
Barr said on Friday that the search warrant suggests that “for them to have pushed it to the current point, they probably have very good evidence, but that’s just speculation.”
Barr also questioned Trump’s claims that he declassified the documents that were taken from Mar-a-Lago, calling them “highly unlikely.”
But if Trump indeed “stood over dozens of boxes, not really knowing what was in them and said, I’m declassifying here anything that would be such an abuse and shows such recklessness as it is.” is almost worse than taking the documents,” Barr said. .
Barr was sworn in as Trump’s attorney general in February 2019. He oversaw the controversial public release of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian interference and possible coordination with the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. Critics accused him of misrepresenting the findings of the Mueller report when he published a four-page summary of it a few weeks before the full report was released.
Less than a month after Trump lost to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, Barr publicly parted ways with his boss undermining his bogus claims that the race was rigged by widespread fraud. Trump maintained the race was rigged against him, even after leaving office on January 20, 2021.
Just this week, Trump demanded that he either be declared a “legitimate winner” or that a catch-up election be held “immediately”.
Barr, in an interview published Dec. 1, 2020, told The Associated Press that the DOJ “did not see fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.”
Trump announced Barr’s resignation two weeks later.