During an August 11 conversation on Trump sycophant and serial misinformer John Solomon’s podcast, former Trump Department of Defense official Kash Patel said that he and Solomon both have “been on a mission” as “the president’s representatives to the National Archives” to prove Trump had declassified the documents seized by the FBI during its search of his residence at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Both Solomon and Patel were named as Trump’s representatives to the National Archives in June, after the former president was subpoenaed by the FBI regarding documents allegedly taken from the Trump White House and kept at Mar-a-Lago.
What actions Solomon and Patel have taken as a part of this “mission” through their roles as representatives to the National Archives is unclear.
Solomon has recently claimed he was granted access to the archives “in my capacity as a reporter in an effort to resolve the question of what happened to the Russia probe documents that former President Trump declassified but which were never released.” In the same statement, he said:
My authorization as a representative to the National Archives with access to the Trump collection has nothing to do with the grand jury investigation, the dispute over documents at Mar-a-Lago, or the FBI search. It was granted solely in my capacity as a reporter. I did not access the documents in Florida, seek to access them, or have anything to do with them or the dispute surrounding them.
Patel’s comments seemingly contradict Solomon’s claim he has nothing to do with the records seized at Mar-A-Lago. They also shed further light on previous reporting from ABC News on Patel’s promise to publish classified documents from the National Archives shortly after he was named representative by Trump.
Patel, who under Trump had been the chief of staff for the acting defense secretary, claimed in a string of interviews that Trump had declassified a trove of "Russiagate documents" in the final days of his administration. But Patel claimed Trump's White House counsel had blocked the release of those documents, and instead had them delivered to the National Archives.
"I've never told anyone this because it just happened," Patel said in an interview on a pro-Trump podcast on June 22. "I'm going to identify every single document that they blocked from being declassified at the National Archives, and we're going to start putting that information out next week."
Patel did not provide a clear explanation of how he would legally or practically obtain the documents.
Five days after his initial appearance, Patel again went on the John Solomon Reports podcast. While discussing a piece from The Washington Post exploring the “curious timing” of his and Solomon’s sudden special access to the archives in June, Patel told Solomon he “never had access to these documents at Mar-a-Lago.”
This begs the question: How does Patel know his “mission” with Solomon, to prove the allegedly stolen documents seized at Mar-a-Lago were indeed declassified, was on solid ground when he claims he hasn’t seen any of them?