In an effort to bolster a Fox News report of “sources” saying that the documents seized were covered by attorney-client privilege and that Trump’s lawyers previously certified that no classified documents were at the property, Cain cited a declaration from Nixon.
Several sets of classified documents were removed from Mar-a-Lago, including those marked top secret and mandated to remain at a secure government facility, according to the search warrant inventory list. Trump has asserted, without evidence, that he personally declassified the documents before leaving office.
In an interview with William Bennett, who served as education secretary under Ronald Reagan and drug czar under George H.W. Bush, Fox News host Cain said:
“When it comes to classified documents, famously, President Nixon said, that if the president does it, that it is not illegal. Is that not truly the standard when it comes to classified documents? The president has the ability to at any time declassify anything.”
Bennett agreed, but said “there’s a procedure that the president must follow.” He hewed to GOP claims of federal subterfuge, saying “the FBI is not what the FBI should be,” and hoped the search warrant affidavit might clarify the reason for the raid.
In any case, Cain’s reference to Nixon was a head-scratcher.
Nixon resigned in 1974 after an investigation revealed that he led a coverup of the 1972 Watergate burglary at Democratic National Committee headquarters to dig up political dirt and plant surveillance devices.
H/T Media Matters