(DCWatchdog.com) – One of the highest-ranking Republicans in the US Senate, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, has rejected former President Donald Trump’s claims that a president can declassify government papers simply through thought.
Barrasso weighed in on the controversy created by Trump when in a recent Fox News interview, Trump argued that a US president can “declassify” documents “by thinking about it” or “by saying so.”
Trump made these claims in his defense after an FBI raid in early August reportedly found classified government files in his home, which he insists he had declassified.
However, Barrasso disagreed with Trump as he commented on the ABC News program “This Week.”
“I don’t think a president can declassify documents by saying so, by thinking about it,” said Barrasso.
The US Senator from Wyoming is the third highest-ranking Republican in the US Senate, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the head of the Senate Republican Conference.
His comment comes as Trump is waging a major legal battle against the classified documents investigation of President Joe Biden’s Justice Department.
“In terms of national security documents, we have to always use extreme caution. I’m on the Foreign Relations Committee. We deal with classified information all the time, and are always very careful,” Barrasso stated.
“I don’t know anything about the rules for when a president declassifies documents and information. What I do know and what I’d like to see from a Senate standpoint is I’d like to see the Department of Justice come to us and show us, in a classified setting, what the information is and what they’ve done,” the Senator elaborated.
At least four other GOP US Senators have dismissed or criticized Trump’s “declassifying by thought” argument. Instead, they have emphasized that there is a legal process for declassifying documents that ought to be followed.
These include Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota, and Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
However, other members of the US Congress and Trump allies such as Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio have found nothing wrong with the former president’s argument.
For the time being, Trump’s lawyers have not given the Justice Department evidence supporting the former president’s claim that the government papers found by the FBI at his Florida residence had been declassified.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) September 25, 2022
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