“No. I can’t think of a legitimate reason why they should be taken out of government, away from government if they’re classified,” Barr said of the documents found at former President Donald Trump’s Florida resort.
“I am frankly skeptical of the claim that [Trump] released everything,” Barr added.
Barr also dismissed criticism that the FBI search was wrong because it was “unprecedented.”
“Let me say I think the driver was in Mar-a-Lago a lot of classified information from the start. People are saying this [raid] 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.
“And how long is the government going to try to get that back? They denounced for a year, they were cheated by the voluntary actions that were taken, they went and got a subpoena, they were cheated on that feeling, and the facts are starting to show they were being dragged around,” he added. “And how long, you know, how long are they waiting?”
When asked about his stance on Trump’s request for a special master to review documents related to the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid, Barr called the idea a “red herring” and a “waste of time.”
“Well, I think the whole idea of a special master is a bit of a red herring,” Barr said, adding, “at this stage, since they’ve already gone through the documents, I think it’s a waste of time.”
Barr said there is a “legitimate concern” about protecting documents that could relate to Trump’s private attorneys, but it “doesn’t matter much,” noting that he’s “not sure if you have a special master. need to identify it”.
“What people miss is that all the other documents that have been taken, even if they claim they have administrative law, or are owned by the government because they’re government documents — even if they’re classified, even if they’re subject to administrative law.” — they’re still in government and going into the archives,” he added.
As more information is revealed, Barr said, “the department’s actions look more understandable.”
“It seems there is a lot of rumbling with the government,” he told the Times. “I’m not sure the department could have gotten it back without taking action.”
This story has been updated with additional details.