“People say this was unprecedented,” Barr said Friday, “but it’s also unprecedented for a president to take all this classified information and put them in a country club, okay?”
Barr also rejected Trump and his allies’ statement that the former president had released full batches of the documents.
“In fact, if he were to step over dozens of boxes, not really knowing what was in them, and say, ‘I’m declassifying everything here’, that would be such abuse and show such recklessness that it’s almost worse.” then taking the documents,” said Barr.
“What people miss,” Barr told Fox News, is that documents, regardless of whether they were classified, “are still owned by the government and going into the archives.” The other documents seized, such as news clippings, were “seized under the warrant because they demonstrate the conditions under which the classified information was kept,” Barr said.
Barr also said the administration went to great lengths to work with Trump’s team before entering his Florida home.
“They were silenced for a year. They were misled by the voluntary actions that were being taken,” he said, referring to false claims by Trump’s lawyers that all the necessary materials had been handed over. Then “the government went to get a subpoena. have been deceived, they find, and the facts are beginning to show that they were fooled.”
“So,” Barr asked rhetorically, “how long are they waiting?”
While Barr also said that “it is clearly foolish and inexplicable what happened,” he added that it was not clear whether the actions should be prosecuted, including given that the documents were eventually recovered.
Friday’s latest court filing found that Trump mixed classified and unclassified materials in boxes at his Florida residence and had dozens of empty folders marked with a “classification” mark, according to an inventory listing that detailed in more detail what FBI agents found when they searched. Mar-a-Lago last month.
Barr’s comments to Fox News — one of the outlets he is known to keep a close eye on — represent an escalation in Barr’s condemnation of his former boss’s behavior. Barr faced a backlash from Trump after telling him there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election. That created a deep rift between the country’s top law enforcement official and the president and ultimately led to Barr taking the lead. government abruptly left. Since then, Trump and his allies have attacked Barr for failing to do more to undo the election results.
Later, Barr gave damning testimony to the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters trying to block the certification of the presidential election. Barr testified that Trump was “detached from reality” and obsessed with fantastic ideas about voter fraud.