Ken Buck calls Trump classified document ordeal ‘beyond’ irresponsible

ken buck, r m
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., listens as President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) David Zalubowski/AP

Ken Buck calls Trump classified document ordeal ‘beyond’ irresponsible

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Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) criticized former President Donald Trump‘s handling of classified documents following recent revelations.

Buck contended that Trump’s actions surrounding the classified document situation were “beyond” irresponsible amid revelations from a reported audiotape, in which Trump appeared to acknowledge that he couldn’t share a key document about a potential attack on Iran because it was classified.

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“As a former prosecutor for 25 years, I think it goes beyond just irresponsible,” Buck told CNN’s State of the Union. “I don’t know if anybody has located the document or [if] there’s a copy of the document somewhere that can show just what kind of information and classification that document had.”

“I know that he was waving some paper, but I don’t know anybody saw a document with a stamp on it. It wouldn’t be the first time that President Trump has talked about things, and he may have been illustrating something. But it depends on what the testimony is as to how severe this is for his criminal case,” Buck added.

Buck declined to state whether he believes Trump should be charged with a crime or whether he broke the law.

Prosecutors have reportedly acquired audio of Trump insinuating he would share the document about Iran, but couldn’t because of its classification marking, according to CNN. Trump’s team turned over additional information related to the document due to a mid-March subpoena, but didn’t find the document itself, per the report.

This is significant because it potentially undercuts Trump’s assertion that a president has the power to declassify documents even just by “thinking” about it. Trump is facing a sprawling investigation from special counsel Jack Smith regarding his handling of classified documents and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, as well as the coinciding efforts to challenge the 2020 election.

Over 300 documents with classification markings were discovered at his Mar-a-Lago resort, according to court documents. Trump has denied wrongdoing and decried the inquiry as a “witch hunt.”

Trump is facing multiple other investigations, including a criminal case from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and a Fulton County inquiry. Buck suggested those inquiries could play into Trump’s hands politically.

“I think that the multiple investigations and civil lawsuits that have been brought almost give this presidential candidate and former president credibility. He keeps saying that the world is against him because he’s trying to make these changes,” Buck said.

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Buck met with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) when he traveled to Washington, D.C., back in April. The congressman said he is willing to meet with other 2024 hopefuls and encouraged DeSantis to “not to try to out-Trump Donald Trump.”

“I think Ron DeSantis has a strong record of accomplishment in Florida when he was dealing with COVID, and some other areas. And I think those are the things that he should be running on,” Buck said, noting that he has not endorsed DeSantis.

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