Trump lacked power to declassify secret nuclear arms document, experts say

June 18, 2023

Former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks following his arraignment on classified document charges, in BedminsterTrump lacked power to declassify secret nuclear arms document, experts say Former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks following his arraignment on classified document charges, in BedminsterBy Jonathan LandayWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Even when he was president, Donald Trump lacked the legal authority to declassify a U.S. nuclear weapons-related document that he is charged with illegally possessing, security experts said, contrary to the former U.S. president’s claim. The special status of nuclear-related information further erodes what many legal experts say is a weak defense centered around declassification. 19 is marked "FRD," or Formerly Restricted Data, a classification given to secret information involving the military use of nuclear weapons. “The president is the executive branch and so he can declassify anything that is nuclear information,” he said. And it takes forever,” said Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive.