William Barr, who served as attorney general under Donald Trump, delivered a warning to his former boss over the federal investigation into sensitive documents found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
“It’s very clear that he had no business having those documents,” Barr told CBS News. “He was given a long time to send them back. And they were subpoenaed.”
Dozens of classified documents were found at Mar-a-Lago last summer during an FBI search of the private club. Documents were also found at President Joe Biden’s former office and his Delaware home, as well as in the home of former Vice President Mike Pence.
But Barr said there’s a difference between Trump’s case and those of Biden and Pence.
“I’ve said all along that he wouldn’t get in trouble, probably, just for taking them, just as Biden I don’t think is going to get in trouble or Pence is not going to get in trouble,” Barr said. “The problem is what did he do after the government asked for them back and subpoenaed them? And if there’s any games being played there, he’s going to be very exposed.”
The former president not only didn’t give the documents back but has insisted he had the right to keep the classified materials.
Barr warned that the courts probably won’t agree.
“I don’t think that argument’s going to fly,” Barr told CBS News. “I don’t think the idea that, you know, he automatically — that they were somehow automatically declassified when they were put in the boxes. I don’t think that will fly.”
Barr was a loyal foot soldier for much of his nearly two years in the Trump administration, but he resigned in December 2020 after refusing to back the then-president’s unproved claims of election fraud.
Last month, Barr dismissed Trump’s 2024 bid for a return to the White House, calling him “a weak candidate who would lose” the general election.