Fox News host Mark Levin argued Sunday that former President Donald Trump had the absolute right to declassify all the documents his administration created, so he should not be subject to criminal charges.
Therefore, the FBI’s raid of the 45th president’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, earlier this month was not justified.
However, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did violate the law regarding the handling of classified information but faced no consequences for her actions, Levin stated.
“[The] former president has the legal right to access any and all of the documents created during his presidency, classified or otherwise. Period,” Levin said on his program “Life, Liberty and Levin.”
“The second before he left office, by his very actions alone in taking documents he can be said to have declassified them,” he added.
“So the former president cannot be charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 for this reason and more,” Levin said, who served as chief of state to Attorney General Edwin Meese during the Reagan administration.
Further, he pointed out that under Article II, section 1 of the Constitution the president is “the executive branch and he is the commander in chief.”
Not only is Trump not guilty of violating the Espionage Act, which was invoked on the affidavit to obtain a search warrant, Levin explained that there are no criminal penalties associated with the Presidential Records Act, also cited by the FBI.
Levin recounted that the National Archives is already in possession of the vast majority of documents created during the Trump administration, and the ones at issue were a very relative few.
Additionally, the former president’s lawyers had been in active negotiations regarding their disposition, starting only a year after Trump left office.
Levin said this kind of back-and-forth is the norm and can go on for years.
In the affidavit, the Justice Department acknowledged that Trump’s lawyers and former officials pointed to his “absolute authority to declassify documents” as president.
If the DOJ explains why they ignored that point, their rationale is completely redacted. pic.twitter.com/5sqyNVMioD
— Vince Coglianese (@VinceCoglianese) August 26, 2022
The conservative firebrand highlighted the contrast between how the issue of Trump storing documents at Mar-a-Lago to Clinton having classified documents on an unsecured email server at her home in Chappaqua, New York.
“That violates the Espionage Act,” Levin argued by failing to properly secure the documents, some highly classified, from foreign adversaries.
Further, the documents had been under congressional subpoena by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, beginning in March 2015.
How many former CIA-types & alike were brought on TV to condemn Hillary or Comey for handling classified information? How many presidents misplaced the nuclear codes for months like Bill Clinton? How many presidents had their homes searched for classified info? The media suck.
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) August 28, 2022
That same month The New York Times broke the story that Clinton had used a personal email server while she was secretary of state in apparent violation of the Federal Records Act.
“And when confronted with it, was her home searched? Was there a search warrant? I don’t seem to recall. Do you?” Levin asked.
“I seem to remember her lawyer, David Kendall, had a big role in deciding what the government would and wouldn’t see,” the Fox host continued.
“Oh, and then we had hammers on iPhones and bleached software and all the rest of it. Obstruction? Of course not, it’s Hillary. And she wasn’t even president, except in her mind. So she didn’t even have the protections attendant to a president.”
Levin concluded, “Now you can see what’s going on here. It’s another disgusting ruse” by the FBI directed against Trump.