Trump Roasted For Making Up A Law 'Out Of Thin Air' About Classified Documents

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Legal experts and critics lashed Donald Trump over the weekend after he fabricated a law he claimed gives presidents the “absolute and unquestioned right” to take any documents when they leave office.

The former president made the claim during a speech at the conservative Turning Point Action Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday.

While railing against last month’s federal Espionage Act indictment over his handling of classified documents taken from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago estate, Trump claimed: “Whatever documents a president decides to take with him, he has the absolute and unquestioned right to do so.”

“This was a law that was passed and signed,” he insisted. “And it couldn’t be more clear.”

Legal experts did not agree. Laurence Tribe, a legal scholar and Harvard University professor emeritus, said “no such law exists.”

National security attorney Bradley P. Moss said it was an illegitimate argument that would fail in court. “It’s a political talking point. That’s all,” he tweeted.

Trump has made similar claims in the past. Last month, he argued that a president leaving office has the “absolute right to keep [documents] or he can give them back to NARA if he wants,” referring to the National Archives and Records Administration.

His assertions have been repeatedly debunked by legal experts, who noted that the Presidential Records Act Trump has cited in his defense actually states the opposite. The 1978 law requires records created by presidents and vice presidents to be turned over to NARA at the end of their administrations.

Trump has also claimed he could take any documents he wanted because he had a “standing order” to automatically declassify any documents he took from the White House ― a claim that has been contradicted by many high-ranking members of his own administration, the relevant federal agencies and his own comments on a 2021 tape obtained by CNN.

His latest fiction drew backlash and ridicule online: