Patrick Philbin (L), Pat Cipollone (R)
The FBI interviewed Trump’s top two lawyers in the spring before raiding Mar-a-Lago last Monday.
According to the New York Times, the FBI interviewed Trump’s White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and deputy counsel Patrick Philbin about the so-called ‘classified documents’ stored at Mar-a-Lago.
Recall, Philbin brilliantly defended Trump during the first impeachment hoax as Democrats tried to remove the president over a perfectly legal phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The National Archives had already removed 15 boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago in January.
The Archives earlier this year claimed classified records were found in Trump’s boxes at Mar-a-Lago…. setting the stage for another raid.
According to the Times, Cipollone and Philbin were interviewed by the FBI over the documents retrieved by the National Archives.
“Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Philbin are the most senior people who worked for Mr. Trump who are known to have been interviewed by investigators after the National Archives referred the matter to the Justice Department this year.” the New York Times reported.
“Mr. Philbin was interviewed in the spring, according to two of the people familiar with the matter, as investigators reached out to members of Mr. Trump’s circle to find out how 15 boxes of material — some of it marked as classified — made its way to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla. It was unclear when Mr. Cipollone was interviewed.” the paper said.
Whenever President Trump has wanted to view/store classified material at Mar-a-Lago, he would do so in a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility).
Furthermore, Trump declassified the documents seized by the FBI under a “standing order” while he was president.
According to the anonymous leak to The Wall Street Journal the items included:
** 20 boxes of items
** 11 sets of classified documents
** Top secret documents
** Sensitive Compartmented documents
** Binders of photos
** Clemency order for Roger Stone
** Information about the “President of France”
** A handwritten note
“Number one, it was all declassified. Number two, they didn’t need to “seize” anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request…” Trump said.
“…They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago. ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK. The bigger problem is, what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?” Trump added.
If the FBI interviewed Trump’s lawyers and the feds were in communication about the documents stored at Mar-a-Lago there was no justification for the raid.