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Barr defends DOJ in Trump investigation: ‘They probably have pretty good evidence’

William Barr
Attorney General William Barr appears before a House Appropriations subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 9, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Former Attorney General William Barr suggested the Department of Justice (DOJ) likely has a strong case that former President Trump improperly took classified documents from the White House when he left office amid an ongoing investigation into the matter.

“Is there any legitimate reason for those materials to be in the former president’s possession?” Barr was asked by Fox News anchor John Roberts during an appearance on the network Friday.

“No. I can’t think of a legitimate reason why they should have been taken out of the government, away from the government, if they are classified,” Barr said.

Barr, who served under Trump, said he was “skeptical” of the former president’s recent claims that he had declassified all of the material in question.

“Because frankly I think it’s highly improbable,” Barr said. “And if in fact he sort of stood over scores of boxes, not knowing really what was in them, and said I hereby declassify everything in here, that would be such an abuse and show such recklessness that it’s almost worse than taking them.”

The DOJ on Friday unsealed new documents revealing more details about how much classified material Trump kept in his personal office at Mar-a-Lago, which was searched last month in connection with the federal investigation.

The Hill reported FBI agents found 43 empty folders with classified banners in Trump’s personal office as well as another 28 empty folders that were labeled “return to staff secretary/military aide,” according to the inventory.

Of the search at Mar-a-Lago, which sent shockwaves across the political landscape and infuriated Trump and his supporters, Barr said “people say this was unprecedented. Well, it’s also unprecedented for a president to take all this classified information and put them in a country club.”

Since leaving Trump’s administration, Barr has emerged as a critic of his former boss, throwing cold water on Trump’s repeated and false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election and penning a book about his time as attorney general during Trump’s final months in office.

For the DOJ to have gone this far in its inquiry, Barr said on Friday, “they probably have pretty good evidence.”

“But that’s speculation,” he continued. “And until we see that, it’s hard to say.”

Tags Department of Justice DOJ Donald Trump John Roberts Mar-a-Lago search William Barr William Barr

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