Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows reportedly has told Jack Smith’s investigators that he cannot recall Trump ever ordering or discussing declassifying the Mar-a-Lago documents before leaving the White House.
Meadows was also not aware of any “standing order” from Trump authorizing the automatic declassification of materials taken out of the Oval Office.
Meadows told investigators that he had heard the term “standing order” used during his time in the White House, but not in relation to the declassification process.
Ever since the FBI removed over 100 classified documents from Mar-a-Lago, he has insisted he declassified all of the documents before they were moved.
Meadows told investigators that he offered to go through Trump’s boxes to retrieve classified documents when the FBI first asked for them in 2021, but Trump refused the offer.
Also, in an early draft of Meadows’ memoir “The Chief’s Chief,” Meadows requested that a paragraph that included a description of Trump having classifed war plans laying out on the couch at his Bedminster office be removed before the book was published. Meadows acknowledged to investigators that the paragraph would be “problematic.”
Only once could Meadows remember Trump declassifying documents, but they were a binder of materials from the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into Trump’s campaign ties with Russia.
Meadows was indicted in Fulton County along with Trump and 17 others.