Trump teases the Mar-a-Lago tape “they don’t want me to reveal”
Former President Donald Trump said that he has a tape of the FBI‘s raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate that officials “don’t want me to reveal.”
Federal agents in August searched Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, seeking classified documents that the former president had failed to turn over to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Trump has maintained that he has a right to the documents, and claims that the raid is a sign of the politicization of the federal government.
While speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday, Trump reiterated that he was in the right to take classified materials under the Presidential Records Act, adding, “I have the right to take stuff and look at stuff.”
The act, passed in 1978, states that “any records created or received by the President as part of his constitutional, statutory, or ceremonial duties are the property of the United States government and will be managed by NARA at the end of the administration,” according to NARA.
Trump also told Hannity that the push and pull between himself and federal officials seeking the documents could “have all been worked out.”
“All of a sudden, they raided Mar-a-Lago, viciously raided Mar-a-Lago,” Trump said. “I have tape, and I gave them tapes of storage areas, I gave it to them. I could have held that back. I wasn’t holding anything back that I cared about.”
“But you know, the tape they don’t want me to reveal if possible, they’ve asked me and I’ve so far adhered to it, the raid itself,” he added.
Trump reportedly previously considered releasing surveillance tapes of the FBI’s raid shortly after the federal search. Eric Trump, his second son, told Hannity in August that the tapes will be released “at the right time.”
The ex-president’s former attorney, Alina Habba, in September told Hannity that while Trump’s legal team would be happy to release the tapes, they may not be released because Trump “cares too much about the agents and the enforcement that were just doing their job.”
“And we have been told that their lives could be put at risk,” she added.
During Tuesday’s interview, Trump said that federal authorities don’t want the tapes released to the public because “they think it might be dangerous because of the faces and everything else, and I understand that.”
“But I have tapes of the raid, and the raid is terrible, and the way they treated people is terrible,” he added. “And the way they treat people now is unbelievable. They ask innocent people, please go in and do ‘blah, blah, blah.’ The way they treat people, they treat people like they are a foreign country enemy.”
Newsweek has reached out to the FBI’s National Press Office via email for comment.
Trump’s interview was aired as the former president awaits a potential indictment from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in the investigation of a $130,000 hush-money scheme involving adult-film star Stormy Daniels in 2016.
The investigation into the classified documents seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home also ramped up this month after Special Counsel Jack Smith, leading the probe, subpoenaed at least two dozen people who work at Trump’s estate to testify in front of a federal grand jury.
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