Former Attorney General William Barr minimized reports of the Justice Department investigating his old boss, Donald Trump, over the handling of classified material found at the former president's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Barr, who is on a book tour, was asked Friday about the severity of the situation after the House Oversight Committee complained the Justice Department was "obstructing" its own investigation by blocking the National Archives from sharing documents, signaling that a federal criminal investigation may be underway.
"Personally, I think it’s making a mountain out of a molehill in the sense that the president is the one — the whole classification system is for the president," Barr told Fox News's Martha MacCallum. "It's his authority that is used for it. And he can declassify or classify things if he wants, and I think this seems to be perhaps a technical violation, but I don't think it will come to much."
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The House committee began its investigation last month after reports that the National Archives acquired 15 boxes of records taken from the White House at the end of Trump's term at the Mar-a-Lago resort in mid-January in an apparent violation of presidential recordkeeping rules, according to the New York Times. Some of the documents are labeled "top secret," sources told the Washington Post.
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“It is clear that a normal and routine process is being weaponized by anonymous, politically motivated government sources to peddle Fake News,” Taylor Budowich, Trump's spokesman, said in February. Trump is well known for blasting his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, for her use of an unauthorized email server during her time as secretary of state.
Barr has said he would not support Trump to run again for the White House but also said he would likely back Trump anyway if he becomes the Republican nominee because he believes "that the greatest threat to the country is the progressive agenda being pushed by the Democratic Party."