The ranking Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Sunday that insisted he would never personally take classified documents home with him, but also defended failed, one-term former president Donald Trump for doing so, claiming that a “different set of rules” apply to the disgraced ex-president.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) was asked by ABC News host Martha Raddatz about Trump’s referring to the FBI agents who searched his Mar-a-Lago golf resort as “vicious monsters,” to which the congressman responded:
“I think the perception is what a lot of Republicans I know see on the heels of the Russian investigation, the Steele dossier — there’s a certain distrust-but-verify attitude when it comes to the Department of Justice and the FBI. And frankly, it saddens me because as an alumni of DOJ, I hate to see people’s faith in our institutions being weakened.”
McCaul added that he’s very suspicious of the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump:
“Well, look, I, you know, I have lived in the classified world most of my professional career. I personally wouldn’t do that but I’m not the president of the United States. He has a different set of rules that apply to him.
“The president can declassify a document on a moment’s notice. And we don’t have all the facts. I know they were taken out of the White House while he was president and whether or not he declassified those documents remains to be seen. He says he did. I don’t have all the facts there.”
When Raddatz noted that even former Trump Attorney General William Barr has called the ex-president’s power to declassify any document he chooses “an absurd idea,” McFaul responded:
Now, instead of trying to defend Trump’s indefensible actions, Republicans are switching their talking points and trying to blame the DOJ for not briefing congressional leaders before the search warrant was served at Mar-a-Lago. But Justice has no standing policy or requirement to do so on any matter and McCaul knows it.
As for McCaul’s claim that a “different set of rules” apply to Trump, that’s complete BS. The law applies to everyone. Or at least it’s supposed to.