Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) says it’s time for the Justice Department to conclude its months-long investigation into the classified documents Donald Trump reportedly took from the White House after leaving office. During an appearance with CNN Tonight, the Republican governor criticized Trump for holding the records at Mar-a-Lago, which eventually spurred the recent FBI raid, saying the move was “not appropriate.”
Well, in the short term, you could almost give the attorney general the title of honorary campaign manager and fundraiser for Donald Trump. Clearly, that has resorted to his benefit in the short term.
I think it’s important we keep the public interest in mind. The public interest is making sure that classified information, sensitive public documents, are returned to archives, to their protected environment. It’s not appropriate for these documents to be running loose at Mar-a-Lago. That’s not appropriate. That has to be returned and secure.
And then this whole thing needs to be wrapped up. Unless there’s something that is totally oblivious to the facts that we know now, this is not something that I see leading to indictments. I don’t see that. It needs to be wrapped up. And I hope that can be accomplished in the future so we can get on with the business of the country and get the documents restored. And I think that was the motivation of the Department of Justice. But who knows whenever they have not spoken clearly about it?
On Monday, Trump’s legal team filed a motion seeking an order to appoint a special master to review the records obtained during the search. If granted, the motion would block the further review of seized materials until a special master is appointed and will require the Justice Department to provide a more detailed receipt for property and the prompt return of any item seized that was not within the scope of the search warrant.
“ALL documents have been previously declassified,” Trump said in a statement. “We are demanding the appointment of a SPECIAL MASTER to oversee the handling of the materials taken in the raid. We are further demanding that the DOJ be forced to turn over a REAL, without ‘plants,’ inventory of my property that was taken and disclose where that property is now located.”
“The wrongful, overbroad warrant was signed by a Magistrate Judge who recused himself just two months ago, from a MAJOR civil suit that I filed, because of his bias and animus toward me,” he continued. “This Mar-a-Lago Break-In, Search, and Seizure was illegal and unconstitutional, and we are taking all actions necessary to get the documents back, which we would have given to them without the necessity of the despicable raid of my home, so that I can give them to the National Archives until they are required for the future Donald J. Trump Presidential Library and Museum.”
Last month, Gov. Hutchinson stirred the pot by officially declaring he would not support Trump’s next campaign, despite having voted for him in the past telling CBS Mornings that he believed the president’s actions regarding Jan. 6th constituted a “threat to democracy.”
“As you can see from the testimony on Jan. 6, then and subsequent to the election where he was challenging the legality of it, the lawful transfer of [power] — yes, that was a threat to our democracy. That was a threat to our institutions of government,” the governor said. “And that’s not the behavior we want to see in a responsible president.”
“I would not be supporting him for 2024″ he continued. “He acted irresponsibly. During that time, he was a risk to the nation, absolutely.”
Hutchinson, a known critic of the former president, has also floated the possibility of running for president in 2024, possibly teeing up an intense battle between the two Republicans. The Arkansas governor is likely to be succeeded by former Trump White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.