Former Attorney General Bill Barr called the indictment against former President Donald Trump over his handling of classified documents “damning,” saying the former president’s actions were “totally wrong.”
Barr, appearing on Fox News Sunday, said he was “shocked by the degree of sensitivity of these documents and how many there were, frankly.”
“The government’s agenda was to get those, protect those documents and get them out. And I think it was perfectly appropriate to do that. It was the right thing to do,” Barr said.
“We have to wait and see what the defense says and what proves to be true,” Barr noted, but he added that “if even half of it is true, then he’s toast.”
Trump and one of his Mar-a-Lago estate staffers, personal valet Walt Nauta, have been charged with dozens of counts of allegedly violating federal statutes on the handling of classified documents after Trump left the White House.
The 44-page federal indictment was unsealed last week, and Trump was charged with suggesting his lawyer falsely tell the FBI and grand jury that he didn’t have classified documents.
Trump is also accused of showing the documents to guests at the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey, among other allegations.
“It’s a very detailed indictment. And it’s very, very damning,” Barr said Sunday. “And this idea of presenting Trump as a victim here, a victim of a witch hunt, is ridiculous. Yes, he’s been a victim in the past. Yes, his adversaries have obsessively pursued him with phony claims, and I’ve been at his side defending against them when he is a victim. But this is much different. He’s not a victim here. He was totally wrong.”
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The former attorney general explained that there is a difference between a president’s personal documents, such as notes from a meeting, and sensitive documents prepared by government officials for the president.
Trump has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence and called the allegation election interference as he seeks a second term in the White House.
Barr, once one of Trump’s closest allies, earlier this month called Trump unfit to serve as president in 2024 and said “It is a horror show when he is left to his own devices.”