Meadows says Trump did not order declassification of Russia documents

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsBiden's no-drama White House chief Ex-Trump aide Meadows pushed DOJ to probe multiple election theories: report Trump working with Gingrich on policy agenda: report MORE said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden prepares to confront Putin Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting Senate investigation of insurrection falls short MORE’s tweets about declassifying documents related to the Russia investigation were not an order to declassify or release further documents.

Meadows said in a sworn declaration in federal court that Trump’s tweets earlier this month instead merely referred to the authority given to Attorney General William BarrBill BarrMedia leaders to meet with Garland to discuss leak investigations Trump DOJ subpoenaed Apple for records of White House lawyer: report Pelosi: Trump DOJ seizure of House Democrats' data ' goes even beyond Richard Nixon' MORE by the president last year to declassify material related to the Russia investigation.

“The President indicated to me that his statements on Twitter were not self-executing declassification orders and do not require the declassification or release of any particular documents,” Meadows wrote in the declaration filed in federal court in Washington, D.C.


“The President’s statements do not require altering any redactions on any record at issue in these or any other cases, including, but not limited to, any redactions taken pursuant to any discretionary FOIA exemptions,” he added.

A federal judge had asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file a declaration from Trump or one of his aides explaining whether the president meant to declassify former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s report without redactions, which would directly conflict with the position of the DOJ.

Trump issued a flurry of tweets in early October stating that he had declassified all documents related to the “Russia Hoax,” a phrase he often uses to refer to Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and the 2016 Trump campaign’s contacts with Moscow.

“I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax,” Trump tweeted Oct. 6. “Likewise, the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden prepares to confront Putin Ending the same-sex marriage wars Trump asks Biden to give Putin his 'warmest regards' MORE Email Scandal. No redactions!”

DOJ attorneys previously argued that the tweets should not be considered actual declassification orders.

The declaration from Meadows came in response to orders in two federal cases seeking documents from Mueller’s investigation.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center as well as Buzzfeed and CNN have filed lawsuits to gain access to more documents from the investigation.