When FBI agents found top secret documents at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, the former president and his staff claimed the documents were actually declassified by a mysterious “permanent” declassification rule. Now, the Feds are examining Trump’s excuse to see if anyone other than Trump has heard of it.

Two people familiar with the matter tell Rolling Stone that the FBI has begun asking former Trump administration officials if they have heard of the so-called “standing orders” Trump has given. Sources say that in recent days, the Fed has sent out interview requests to former officials, including former National Security Council personnel. The FBI has asked some of them to visit local FBI field offices to answer follow-up questions related to the former president, classified and highly sensitive documents and alleged “orders.” That order, Trump’s office insisted last week, stipulated that “any document removed from the Oval Office and taken into the residence will be treated as declassified.”

So far, these interviews have been voluntary, but as with any FBI investigation, federal law requires witnesses to be truthful in their answers or risk potential prosecution for false statements.

It is unclear why a current president, who as commander-in-chief was privy to any confidential information, would need to make public the work he brought to the private residence of the White House. John Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security adviser from 2018 to 2019, told The New York Times that he was unaware of any such order and called the claim “almost certainly a lie.”

Trump and his allies have offered a confusing and at times contradictory set of explanations for why FBI agents found documents marked “Top Secret” in boxes at the former president’s South Florida residence.

In a post on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump suggested both that the FBI was involved in “attributing” evidence during the execution of a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, and that the documents found were “all unclassified”. . Case. Most recently, Trump has reposted a public January 19, 2021 executive order calling for the declassification of a specific binder of classified documents related to the FBI’s 2016 investigation of Trump and Russian intelligence.

Some of the Trump administration’s national security veterans who are willing to speak publicly or on background have not yet confirmed Trump’s claims of a “standing order.” In a story posted Thursday, CNN asked 18 former Trump officials if they were aware of such an order. No one mentioned having ever heard of it.

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