Donald Trump said he “absolutely” plans to testify in the federal government’s case against him regarding classified documents he removed from the White House. “I’m allowed to do whatever I want … I’m allowed to do everything I did,” the former president told conservative podcast host Hugh Hewitt.
In an interview on “The Hugh Hewitt Show” that dropped Wednesday, the host asked Trump, “Did you direct anyone to move the boxes, Mr. President? Did you tell anyone to move the boxes?” referring to the boxes of more than 300 classified documents the federal government seized last year from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
“I don’t talk about anything. You know why? Because I’m allowed to do whatever I want. I come under the Presidential Records Act,” Trump replied, while also taking a quick detour to bash Hewitt. “I’m not telling you. You know, every time I talk to you, ‘Oh, I have a breaking story.’ You don’t have any story. I come under the Presidential Records Act. I’m allowed to do everything I did.”
Trump has long been misrepresenting what is allowed under the Presidential Records Act.
The law states: “Upon the conclusion of a President’s term of office, or if a President serves consecutive terms upon the conclusion of the last term, the Archivist of the United States shall assume responsibility for the custody, control, and preservation of, and access to, the Presidential records of that President.” There is an allowance for presidents to keep records that are of “a purely private or nonpublic character” and unrelated to presidential duties, but many of the documents Trump was found to possess came from government agencies, such as the C.I.A. and Department of Defense. Trump even bragged on tape post-presidency about holding on to plans for war with Iran.
When Hewitt asked Trump if he would testify in his own defense at the trial in the documents case, the former president said, “That, I would do. That, I look forward to, because that’s just like Russia, Russia, Russia. That’s all the fake information from Russia, Russia, Russia. Remember when the dossier came out and everyone said, ‘Oh, that’s so terrible, that’s so terrible,’ and then it turned out to be it was a political report put out by Hillary Clinton and the DNC. They paid millions for it. They gave it to Christopher Steele. They paid millions and millions of dollars for it, and it was all fake. It was all fake.”
“So I look forward, I look forward to testifying. At trial, I’ll testify,” Trump added. Of course, Trump loves to talk a big game, and we likely won’t know if he will actually testify until next year. The classified documents trial is set to begin in May 2024.
Hewitt followed up by asking, “If you do [testify] and they ask you on the stand, did you order anyone to move boxes, how will you answer?”
“I’m not answering that question for you,” Trump said, “but I’m totally covered under the law.”
In addition to discussing his legal troubles, Hewitt asked Trump for his thoughts on an unrelated topic: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. “I know that they don’t like me,” Trump said. “I said that I don’t think they are very appropriate what they’re saying, what they’re doing, and I didn’t like the way she dealt with the queen.”
Trump added that he would “love to debate” Markle.