Mulvaney: Incompetence possible explanation in docs probe

Banfield

(NewsNation) — One of former President Donald Trump’s chiefs of staff thinks it’s more likely the confidential documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago were moved there inadvertently rather than maliciously.

“Don’t ever assume a conspiracy where simple incompetence will explain things,” Mick Mulvaney told NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield.

On Friday, the Department of Justice unsealed the search warrant and property receipt from the FBI’s search of the former president’s Florida home last week.

Among the 33 documents federal agents recovered were:

  • Four sets of “Top Secret Documents”
  • Three sets of “Secret Documents”
  • Three sets of “Confidential Documents”

It remains unclear whether the Department of Justice intends to pursue charges against Trump, or someone else in his orbit, related to the documents. The affidavit, which would show how the prosecutors obtained a warrant, remains sealed.

Having worked closely with the former president on a near-daily basis as the acting chief of staff from January 2019 to March 2020, Mulvaney suspects the documents were in Florida as a result of oversight rather than an attempt to deceive authorities.

“What I know about Donald Trump makes me more likely to think it was just not paying attention to the details and walking out with a bunch of stuff,” Mulvaney said.

The former acting chief of staff called the FBI’s search of the former president’s private residence “unprecedented” and says it’s on the FBI to explain why it was necessary to search the home.

“If the FBI doesn’t find a cold body or a smoking gun, then I think this will go down as one of the greatest overreaches in law enforcement history,” Mulvaney said. “You don’t get to go into a former president’s house because of technical document violations.”

When asked whether he would vote for Trump if he won the Republican nomination for president in 2024, Mulvaney avoided answering the question directly but said he believes it’s time to move on from the former president.

“He (Trump) may well be the only Republican who can lose to Joe Biden or to any other Democrat in 2024,” Mulvaney said. “I hope he doesn’t run and if he runs, I hope he doesn’t win the nomination.”

Following his time as chief of staff, Mulvaney served as special U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland — a position he resigned from following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

You can watch the full interview in the player above. Watch “Banfield” weeknights at 10/9c.

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