On Wednesday’s edition of Fox News’ America Reports, purported “straight news” anchor John Roberts pushed former President Donald Trump’s discredited claims that he could have declassified all the top-secret documents he illegally removed from the White House and hid at his Mar-a-Lago resort, to which Roberts added the baseless assertion that President Joe Biden might have rescinded Trump’s declassification order.
There is no evidence that Trump declassified any of the documents illegally stored at his private resort, and there is no evidence that Biden rescinded any directives pertaining to Trump’s handling of classified materials. (Trump’s enablers at Fox News had previously blamed Biden for rescinding Trump’s claims to executive privilege in this matter, which they falsely claimed created the predicate for the FBI search.)
A Justice Department filing Tuesday night argued that in previous dealings between Trump’s office and the National Archives or the FBI, which culminated in the search of Mar-a-Lago earlier this month, Trump’s staff and legal representatives never made any claims that he had declassified documents, but had instead treated the documents they did hand over as if they required extra security.
Roberts and co-anchor Sandra Smith also failed to challenge a number of false assertions made by their guest, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO):
- Buck claimed that Trump “had set up a secure location within Mar-a-Lago,” even though federal investigators now believe materials had been concealed and removed from the storage room.
- Buck further asserted, “The Department of Justice should have gone to court and used the least intrusive means possible” in order to obtain the documents. In fact, the government had already subpoenaed the documents months before the August 8 search, only for Trump to continually resist its efforts.
- Buck also conjectured that Trump “may be writing a memoir, he may be writing an autobiography, and the fact that he had documents in and of itself isn’t a concern.” Such an idea entirely neglected the recent reporting about the intense document security protocols that were involved when former President Barack Obama wrote his recent memoir.