White House: President Didn’t Actually Mean to Declassify Mueller Documents

October 21, 2020

In a filing from EPIC's and BuzzFeed's joint cases for disclosure of the complete Mueller Report, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows asserted that President Trump didn't actually mean to declassify any records when he tweeted that he had "fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents" pertaining to the Russia investigation. According to Meadows, Trump informed him that his "statements on Twitter were not self-executing declassification orders[.]" The filing came in response to an order from Judge Reggie B. Walton, who had previously rejected the DOJ's argument—made without consulting the President directly—that Trump did not intend any new releases of records. On Wednesday, Walton accepted Meadows' supplemental statements and declined to order the disclosure of any classified material. But Walton has already ordered the DOJ to provide EPIC with extensive new material from the Report by November 2, in addition to the material previously disclosed as a result of EPIC's case. EPIC's Freedom of Information Act suit—the first in the nation for the disclosure of the Mueller Report—is EPIC v. DOJ, No. 19-810.

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