Putin mouthpiece taunts US over missing nuclear documents
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The Russian pundit ridiculed the FBI’s search for classified documents at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort as he insisted any detail of new weapons is already known in Russia. The former president was served with a warrant earlier this week, which was later disclosed to have been issued under the Espionage Act. Evgeny Popov taunted Joe Biden as he appeared to suggest details of top-secret intelligence into new military developments have been in Vladimir Putin’s hands “for a while.”
The Rossiya-1 host said: “Turns out that the investigation against Trump has to do with the disappearance of secret documents from the White House, related to the development of new nuclear weapons by the US.
“The FBI isn’t saying what kinds of weapons, or what they found in Trump’s estate.
“Obviously, if there were any important documents, they’ve been studying them in Moscow for a while.
“What’s the point of searching?”
FBI agents who searched Mar-a-Lago removed 11 sets of classified documents, including several marked top secret, according to documents unsealed in Florida federal court on Friday.
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The warrant and list of items taken were made public after Trump said he did not object to their release.
Mr Trump said on his Truth Social platform that the “nuclear weapons issue is a “hoax.”
He has said he was cooperating with authorities and called the “raid” inappropriate political retribution.
The former President also suggested the FBI may have planted evidence against him, without backing up that assertion.
Mr Trump had already publicly claimed the US had been developing a new weapons as he recounted how close to war with North Korea the country had been.
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He said: “I have built a nuclear – a weapons system that nobody’s ever had in this country before. We have stuff that you haven’t seen or heard about.
“We have stuff that Putin and Xi have never heard about before. There’s nobody – what we have is incredible.”
The warrant gave prosecutors the right to seize records containing evidence in violation of three laws, with code numbers 793, 2071 and 1519.
While the list of items agents took from Mar-a-Lago notes that many of the documents were classified, those three laws deal with mishandling of federal government records regardless of whether or not they are classified.
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The law with number 793 prevents unauthorized possession of national defense information, without mentioning whether the records are classified or not. It is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
That law was initially passed under the 1917 Espionage Act, which predates the statutory classification system.
Mr Trump signed a change in the law that increased the maximum prison term for individuals convicted of mishandling classified information from one to five years in 2018
The President has broad powers to declassify documents, raising the possibility that Trump could have done so before taking the records to Mar-a-Lago.
But Mr Trump insisted “it was all declassified,” as he addressed his supporters on his social media platform.
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